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The  Gray  Lectures 

Winter  1965 

The  Lecturers 

Father  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann,  O.S.B.,  monk  of  Saint  John's  Abbey 
( Collegeville,  Minnesota),  is  Professor  of  Patrology  and  Church  History 
in  the  Major  Seminary,  Saint  John's  University,  and  lecturer,  teacher, 
and  retreat  master  during  summer  months.  After  his  own  college  study 
at  Saint  John's,  he  earned  the  Doctorate  of  Sacred  Theology  in  Rome, 
and  pursued  further  graduate  studies  in  liturgy  at  the  Abbey  of  Maria 
Laach,  Germany.  A  noted  liturgiologist,  he  has  been  editor  of  the 
liturgical  journal  Worship  since  1938,  and  is  the  author  of  Come,  Let 
Us  Worship  and  contributor  of  articles  to  scholarly  journals  and  the 
Encyclopaedia  Britannica.  Father  Diekmann  has  been  a  leading  American 
representative  at  the  International  Pastoral  Liturgical  Congress  at  Assisi 
in  1956,  and  in  six  International  Study  Meetings.  He  is  Vice  President 
of  the  National  Liturgical  Conference.  As  Consultor  of  the  Pontifical 
Liturgical  Commission  preparing  for  the  Second  Vatican  Council,  and 
presently  Consultor  of  the  Post-Conciliar  Liturgical  Commission,  he  is 
eminently  qualified  to  interpret  the  Second  Vatican  Council. 

Dean  Robert  E.  Cushman  of  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  Univer- 
sity has  represented  The  Methodist  Church  as  a  Protestant  Observer  at 
1963  and  1964  sessions  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council.  A  graduate  of 
Wesleyan  University  (Connecticut)  and  of  Yale  University  (B.D., 
Ph.D.),  he  served  pastorates  in  Connecticut  and  New  York  and  taught 
at  Yale  Divinity  School  and  the  University  of  Oregon  before  coming 
to  Duke  as  Professor  of  Systematic  Theology  in  1945.  Dr.  Cushman  is 
author  of  Therapeia:  Plato's  Conception  of  Philosophy,  of  chapters  in 
several  theological  books  (including  recent  works  on  Worship  in  Scrip- 
ture and  Tradition  and  The  Doctrine  of  the  Church),  and  of  numerous 
journal  articles  (including  recent  articles  on  the  Second  Vatican  Council). 
He  was  a  Methodist  delegate  to  the  World  Conference  on  Faith  and  Order 
in  Lund  (1952)  and  again  in  Montreal  (1963).  He  is  a  permanent  mem- 
ber of  the  North  American  Commission  on  Worship  for  the  World 
Council  of  Churches.  He  has  lectured  in  theological  schools  and  Method- 
ist Pastors'  Schools  throughout  the  nation,  and  in  the  Second  Oxford 
Institute  on  Methodist  Theological  Studies,  1962.  He  was  a  delegate  to 
the  1964  Methodist  General  Conference.  As  a  leading  ecumenical  Method- 
ist theologian,  he  is  especially  prepared  to  share  with  Father  Diekmann 
in  the  interpretation  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council. 



The  James  A.  Gray  Lectures 


"The  Second  Vatican  Council" 


Father  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann,  O.S.B. 


Dean  Robert  E.  Cushman 

Volume  30  Winter  1965  Number  1 


Prolegomena  to  the  Gray  Lectures 5 

by  James  T.  Cleland 

I.  The  Council  and  the  Liturgical  Renewal 9 

by  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

II.  The  Nature  of  the  Church  and  Its  Government 21 

by  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

III.  The  Apostolate  of  the  Laity 33 

by  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

IV.  A  Protestant  Report 43 

by  Robert  E.  Cushman 

V.  Prospects  of  Ecumenism 59 

by  Robert  E.  Cushman 

Appendix :  Discourse  to  the  Observers 75 

by  Pope  Paul  VI 

Vatican  Council  Bibliography 77 

compiled  by  Harriet  V.  Leonard 

A  Prayer  for  Christian  Unity inside  back  cover 

Published  three  times  a  year   (Winter,  Spring,  Autumn) 

by  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University 

in  continuation  of  The  Duke  Divinity  School  Bulletin 

Postage  paid  at  Durham,  North  Carolina 

Prolegomena  to  the  Gray 
Lectures  (1964) 

The  Gray  Lectureship  at  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University 
is  one  outcome  of  a  fund  which  was  presented  to  the  Divinity  School 
in  1946  by  the  late  James  A.  Gray,  business  man  and  philanthropist 
of  Winston-Salem,  as  part  of  the  Methodist  College  Advance  of 
the  two  North  Carolina  conferences  of  The  Methodist  Church.  The 
purpose  of  the  fund  is  to  expand  and  maintain  the  educational  ser- 
vices of  the  Divinity  School  "in  behalf  of  the  North  Carolina  churches 
and  pastors."  In  partial  fulfillment  of  this  intent,  the  Gray  Lecture- 
ship was  established. 

The  Lectures,  ordinarily  four  in  number,  have  been  delivered 
annually  by  an  invited  lecturer  since  1950.  The  speakers  have  come 
from  various  Protestant  denominations,  from  the  parish  and  aca- 
demic ministries,  from  varied  fields  of  special  interest.  They  have 
usually  spoken  during  the  Christian  Convocation  and  North  Carolina 
Pastors'  School,  of  recent  years  held  in  late  October.  Most  of  the 
Gray  Lectures  have  appeared  in  print. 

More  than  once  a  question  has  been  asked  informally  and  desul- 
torily, yet  seriously,  among  the  Divinity  School  faculty :  "Is  it  time 
to  invite  a  Roman  Catholic  scholar  to  deliver  the  Gray  Lectures?" 
The  negative  answer  was  almost  always  posited  on  the  assumption, 
valid  or  otherwise,  that  our  clientele  was  not  ready  for  it.  Then,  in 
the  economy  of  God,  Pope  John  XXIII  sat  down  on  Peter's  chair, 
with  a  homey,  humble,  effective,  original  authority  which  startled 
and  delighted  both  the  Christian  churches  and  the  secular  world. 
If  ecumenical  Protestantism  ever  decides  to  canonize  anyone,  Angelo 
Giuseppe  Roncalli  has  a  legitimate  claim  to  be  its  first  Saint,  honoris 
causa.  He  was  the  unwitting  prime  mover  in  the  preparation  for  the 
1964  Gray  Lectures. 

The  Gray  Lectures  Committee  wisely  decided  to  make  Dean 
Cushman,  Methodist  observer  at  the  Second  Vatican  Council,  its 
agent  in  the  search  for  a  Roman  Catholic  speaker.  He  cooperated 
with  vigor,  wisdom,  and  effectiveness.  Only  twice  did  he  waver, 
once  when  from  Rome  he  suggested  that  the  matter  be  postponed 
until  a  later  date.  But  the  committee,  led  by  Professors  Clark  and 
Lacy,  was  unanimous  in  declining  to  be  influenced  by  the  Dean's  cold 

feet.  To  his  credit,  his  feet  warmed  up  of  their  own  accord  before  the 
committee's  courteous,  but  adamant,  refusal  reached  him.  So  the 
hunt  was  on  for  a  man :  a  scholar,  a  communicator,  an  ecumenist,  a 
Christian.  While  in  Rome,  Dean  Cushman  had  become  friends  with 
Father  Godfrey  L.  Diekmann,  O.S.B.,  of  Saint  John's  Abbey  in 
Minnesota.  He  is  a  leading  liturgist  in  Roman  Catholic  circles  in 
the  U.S.A.,  a  man  of  winsome,  yet  strong,  personality,  and  one  who 
loves  his  separated  brethren.  He  had  all  kinds  of  legitimate  reasons 
for  declining  our  invitation  to  be  the  Gray  Lecturer — work,  health, 
weariness.  But  he  accepted.  In  October,  he  came ;  he  was  seen ;  he 

There  is  one  more  preliminary  fact  to  be  added.  The  committee 
had  decided  that  there  should  be  two  Gray  Lecturers  in  1964:  one 
a  Roman  Catholic,  the  other  a  distinguished  Protestant,  who  should 
be  our  own  Dean.  He  demurred.  But  the  committee  was  deaf,  with 
the  deafness  of  those  who  will  not  hear.  This  was  our  second  refusal 
to  accept  his  hesitancy.  He  was  drafted.  If  pride  were  not  a  sin, 
we  could  say :  "He  did  us  proud." 

It  was  somewhat  breathlessly  that  we  awaited  the  October  event. 
What  amazed  us  was  the  participation  of  our  separated  Roman  Cath- 
olic brethren,  priests  and  nuns,  in  surprising  numbers,  so  con- 
spicuous because  of  their  habits.  If  there  was  any  brooding  Protestant 
sullenness,  it  was  submerged  by  excitement,  anticipation,  and  good- 
will. The  speakers  were  heard  with  attention,  surprise,  and  en- 
thusiasm. The  question  period  was  sometimes  penetrating,  always 
interesting,  and  never  unseemly.  Folk  wanted  the  truth ;  they  heard 
it  spoken,  in  love.  The  resultant  mail  has  been  laudatory  and  grateful. 

Father  Diekmann  must  needs  return  to  the  campus.  Our  admira- 
tion of  him  is  penetrated  with  affection.  We  listened  spellbound  to 
his  erudition  and  his  capacity  to  make  us  understand  what  he  was 
elucidating — what  a  teacher !  We  gave  ear — enthralled  with  his 
humor,  his  sensitive  appreciation  of  Protestantism,  his  gentle  criti- 
cism of  both  branches  of  the  Church.  One  puzzled  listener  told  me 
that  he  could  not  understand  how  Father  Diekmann  could  remain  a 
Roman  Catholic.  You  should  have  heard  the  roar  of  glorious  laughter 
when  I  relayed  that  tidbit  to  our  guest.  (Of  course,  he  and  I  had 
one  common  ground :  we  both  smoke  pipes  stuffed  with  "Revelation." 
We  chatted  in  an  atmosphere  of  holy  smoke.)  Like  you  who  sat  at 
his  feet,  I  long  for  another  opportunity  of  being  with  this  great  and 
good  man  of  God. 

Dean  Cushman  made  us  hold  up  our  heads  as  Protestants.  Once 
again,  he  caused  some  of  us  to  regret  that  he  has  to  be  an  academic 

Solomon,  building  institutional  temples.  We  need  him  as  a  theologian, 
full-time,  in  the  classroom,  as  advisor  to  the  Council  of  Bishops,  as 
the  author  of  the  books  which  he  carries  so  uncomfortably  in  petto. 
Why  is  a  teacher  of  proven  renown  and  of  even  greater  promise 
metamorphosed  into  a  Dean?  Probably  God  knows,  but  He  hasn't 
told  us.  Yet,  in  God's  providence,  Dean  Cushman  is  giving  our 
Divinity  School  a  valid  reputation  and  a  fair  name,  the  like  of  which 
it  never  had  before.  We,  his  colleagues,  and  you,  who  are  alumni, 
bask  in  the  warmth  and  light  of  his  reflected  glory.  Duke  is  known, 
nationally  and  internationally,  primarily  because  of  him.  He  was  at 
his  worthy  best  as  a  Gray  Lecturer. 

How  does  one  tell  a  great  moment  in  history?  Only  years  after? 
It  seems  likely  that  the  Convocation  of  1964  will  be  such  a  moment. 
It  was  evidenced  and  symbolized  primarily  in  the  Chapel  services 
held  in  conjunction  with  the  Gray  Lectures.  To  see  Protestants 
and  Roman  Catholics  worshipping  together,  singing  the  same  hymns, 
saying  "Amen"  to  the  same  prayers,  cooperating  quietly  with  the 
Divinity  School  Choir  in  the  anthems,  and  listening  to  the  Word  of 
God  expounded  by  a  Negro  Baptist  from  the  South,  Dr.  Samuel 
Proctor,  was  a  rare  and  blessed  diet  of  corporate  worship.  We  could 
not  but  recall  the  lines  of  Wordsworth : 

The  holy  time  is  quiet  as  a  nun 
Breathless  with  adoration. 

This  interracial,  interdenominational,  interfaith  worship  was  climaxed 
at  the  last  service  as  we  affirmed  our  one,  holy,  Catholic  faith  in  the 
words  of  the  Apostles'  Creed.  The  Duke  Chapel  was  Bethel — 
none  other  but  the  house  of  God  and  the  gate  of  heaven. 

So  here  are  the  lectures  to  recall  to  your  remembrance  the  hal- 
lowed occasion.  It  seemed  wiser  to  give  them  to  you  now  as  a  spe- 
cial edition  of  The  Duke  Divinity  School  Review  than  to  wait 
a  year  for  their  printing  by  a  publishing  house.  This  issue  is  a  souvenir 
of  an  astonishing  event. 

James  T.  Cleland 


The  James  A.  Gray  Lectures 

I.   The  Council  and  the 
Liturgical  Renewal 

Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

Dear  Brothers  in  Christ  and  in  the  Christian  Ministry : 

Before  all  else,  I  must  express  my  humble  gratitude  to  the  several 
sponsoring  bodies,  to  Duke  University,  to  its  School  of  Divinity, 
and  to  its  Dean,  Dr.  Robert  Cushman,  whom  I  have  learned  during 
the  second  session  of  Vatican  Council  II  not  only  to  esteem  as  a 
scholar  but  to  value  as  a  friend,  for  the  privilege  of  addressing  you. 
Though  deeply  appreciative  of  the  singular  academic  distinction 
associated  with  being  selected  as  a  James  A.  Gray  lecturer,  I  must 
also,  in  all  honesty,  confess  that,  as  a  Catholic  priest  who  thanks 
God  each  day  for  good  Pope  John  XXIII  and  the  new  era  of  ecu- 
menical involvement  which  he  opened  up  for  us  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  faith,  I  accepted  Dean  Cushman's  invitation  with  eagerness, 
because  of  the  opportunity  it  offers  of  contributing  in  whatever 
small  degree  to  the  furtherance  of  the  Christian  dialogue.  My  eager- 
ness, however,  was  tempered  with  salutary  trepidation.  In  terms  of 
true  theological  dialogue  with  my  brethren  of  other  Christian 
Churches,  I  am,  as  it  were,  an  infant  learning  to  speak  or,  rather, 
like  one  advanced  in  years  painfully  learning  a  foreign  tongue  and  not 
quite  certain  that  he  uses  it  rightly.  If,  therefore,  in  the  course  of 
my  lectures,  anything  I  say  may  wound  sensibilities  or  prove  in  any 
way  unwittingly  offensive,  I  hereby  unreservedly  apologize  in  ad- 

As  to  my  general  approach  to  the  topics  assigned  me :  In  the  past 
two  years  I  have  lectured  to  many  and  often  quite  large  audiences 
of  Catholic  priests  in  various  parts  of  the  country  about  Vatican 
Council  II.  I  decided,  therefore,  rightly  or  wrongly — you  will  have 
to  be  the  judges — to  speak  to  you  as  if  I  were  addressing  them: 
i.e.,  to  express,  as  honestly  and  forthrightly  as  I  possibly  can,  my 
views  of  the  significance  of  what  is  happening  at  the  Council.  You 
are  therefore,  for  the  time  being,  in  a  role  similar  to  that  of  the 
Protestant  observers  at  the  Council :  sympathetic  witnesses  to  the 
wrestling  with  the  angel  of  the  Lord  that  your  Catholic  brethren 
are  presently  engaged  in. 

When  the  Liturgical  Commission  preparing  for  Vatican  Council 


II  had  concluded  its  work  of  drafting  the  document  which,  sub- 
stantially, is  identical  with  the  Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy 
officially  promulgated  December  4,  1963,  the  Jesuit  Fr.  Josef  Jung- 
mann,  perhaps  our  most  famous  liturgy  scholar,  declared :  "If  the 
Council  accepts  this  statement,  I  shall  be  happy  to  sing  my  Nunc 
Dimittis — Now  Thou  dost  dismiss  Thy  servant,  O  Lord,  in  peace." 
For  at  that  time  there  was  no  conceivable  way  of  foretelling  the  cli- 
mate of  the  Council.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  weather  signs  were 
rather  stormy.  Yet  after  a  lengthy  discussion  on  the  Council  floor 
that  lasted  the  better  part  of  the  entire  Session  I  in  1962,  the  changes 
that  were  introduced  into  the  document  were  all  "liberalizing"  rather 
than  restrictive.  The  final  vote  was  Yes  2147,  and  No  4.  (Inci- 
dentally, it  became  a  popular  guessing  game  in  Rome  to  discover  the 
identity  of  the  four.  I  think  I  know  at  least  two.) 

That  vote  constituted  the  official  stamp  of  approval  on  the  so- 
called  Liturgical  Movement  or  Renewal  in  the  Catholic  Church.  It 
is  obviously  impossible,  in  the  framework  of  this  lecture,  to  detail 
the  adventurous  history  of  this  movement.  Many  of  you,  doubtless, 
are  at  least  in  a  general  manner  aware  of  its  early  scholarly  and 
monastic  origins,  associated  largely  with  the  restoration  of  Gregorian 
Chant,  the  Abbey  of  Solesmes  in  France,  and  the  person  of  Abbot 
Gueranger,  in  the  second  half  of  the  nineteenth  century.  The  pastoral 
dimension  of  the  movement  began  to  come  to  the  fore  through  a 
famous  speech  of  Dom  Lambert  Beauduin  at  the  Belgian  National 
Catholic  Congress  in  1909.  At  that  time,  however,  liturgy  was  still 
so  universally  regarded  as  mere  ritual,  ceremonious  embroidery  of 
the  sacramental  actions,  in  other  words,  as  romantic  aestheticism 
of  no  intrinsic  significance  and  really  quite  irrelevant  to  the  es- 
sentials of  Christian  life  and  spirituality,  that  Dom  Beauduin's 
speech  was  assigned  to  the  Congress's  section  on  "Art  and  Archeol- 
ogy." And  it  must  further  be  admitted  that,  despite  the  substantial 
progress  of  the  pastoral  impact  of  the  liturgical  renewal,  especially  in 
Austria  and  Germany  in  the  '20's,  in  the  U.S.  beginning  with  1926, 
the  year  the  liturgical  magazine  Orate  Fratres  was  launched,  and  in 
France  more  particularly  since  World  War  II,  an  unprejudiced  ob- 
server of  the  scene  at  the  outset  of  Vatican  Council  II  from  the  evi- 
dence at  hand  would  have  had  to  conclude  that,  in  the  minds  of  most 
Catholics,  including  many  members  of  the  hierarchy,  liturgy  was 
still  classified  in  the  category  of  "Art  and  Archeology." 

But,  God  be  thanked,  appearances  were  deceiving.  Or  perhaps 
the  New  Pentecost  prayed  for  by  Pope  John  in  convoking  the  Council 
was  already  commencing,  and  the  fresh  air  was  beginning  to  circulate 


through  the  newly  opened  windows.  In  any  event,  the  Schema  on 
the  Liturgy,  though  originally  slated  as  seventh  on  the  list  of  the 
Council's  agenda,  was  moved  up  to  first  place  for  discussion,  precisely 
because,  as  the  result  of  the  grass-roots  development  and  maturing 
of  the  liturgical  movement  of  the  previous  fifty  years,  the  Schema  em- 
bodied most  satisfactorily  that  pastoral  and  biblical  approach  and 
emphasis  which  the  Council  had  set  as  its  goal. 

And  thus  it  happened,  by  accident  if  you  will,  that,  after  a  lengthy 
and  often  heated  discussion  of  the  proposed  Liturgy  Schema,  the 
Council  on  December  4,  1963,  promulgated  the  approved  Constitution 
on  the  Sacred  Liturgy  as  the  first  major  plank  in  its  over-all  pro- 
gram of  the  Church's  self-reform  and  spiritual  renewal.  But  already 
it  is  becoming  evident  that  this  Constitution  is  immeasurably  more 
than  a  first  plank :  it  is  nothing  less  than  the  documentary  foundation 
of  the  Catholic  Church's  program  of  spiritual  rejuvenation,  antici- 
pating many  of  the  concerns  of  subsequent  Schemata — and  doing  so 
in  proper  and  best  context :  for  it  views  the  Church,  not  primarily 
as  an  institution,  but  as  the  Ecclesia,  the  people  of  God,  the  body  of 
Christ  as  a  worshipping  community.  Some  of  the  Protestant  observers 
at  the  Council,  indeed,  have  expressed  the  judgment  that  even  if  the 
Council  does  nothing  else,  the  promulgation  of  the  Liturgy  Consti- 
tution would  suffice  to  rank  it  among  the  major  events  in  the  history 
of  the  Roman  Church,  and  perhaps  of  Christianity.  And  if  I  may 
be  permitted  to  append  a  personal  footnote :  I  am  convinced  that, 
after  the  inspired  word  of  Holy  Scripture,  there  has  appeared  no  writ- 
ing of  an  official  public  character  in  the  entire  history  of  the  Catholic 
Church  which  is  the  peer  of  this  document  in  containing  the  poten- 
tialities of  spiritual  revitalization.  It  is  the  Magna  Carta  of  the  Cath- 
olic Church's  hoped-for  second  spring.  And  it  is  such  because,  above 
all  else,  it  represents  a  deliberate  return  to  the  sources,  to  the  fresh 
waters  of  the  saving  paschal  mystery  of  Christ,  His  death  and  resur- 

Any  attempt  on  my  part  even  to  summarize  the  contents  of  the 
Constitution  would  necessarily  be  superficial.  I  dare  to  suggest, 
therefore,  that  for  its  ecumenical  import,  if  for  no  other  reason,  you 
somehow  find  the  time  to  study  this  document  if  you  have  not  yet  done 
so.  For  therein  you  will  find  what  the  Catholic  Church  has  freshly 
realized  to  be  her  intimate  nature,  what  therefore  she  ought  to  be, 
what  she  consciously  and  prayerfully  hopes  to  be  in  the  years  ahead 
more  faithfully  than  in  the  past :  "a  chosen  race,  a  royal  priesthood, 
a  holy  nation,  God's  own  people,  to  declare  His  wonderful  deeds" 
(1  Peter  2:9). 


No  doubt  future  historians  will  evaluate  the  Liturgy  Constitution 
more  objectively  than  it  is  now  possible  for  us  to  do.  But  I  would  like 
to  treat  today,  in  some  depth,  of  one  of  its  features  which  both  for  us 
Catholics  and  for  its  ecumenical  connotations  may  well  prove  to  be 
of  capital  and  lasting  significance. 

A  chief  concern  of  the  Council  itself,  mirrored  clearly  in,  and 
in  fact  sparked  by,  the  Liturgy  Constitution,  is  the  effort  to  per- 
sonalize religion,  i.e.,  to  make  our  Christian  life  more  of  a  personal, 
responsible  experience,  a  personal  encounter  with  God  and  our  neigh- 
bor that  takes  place  above  all,  according  to  the  will  of  Christ,  within 
the  community  of  the  Church.  This,  as  is  evident,  is  the  Christian 
counterpart  of  the  contemporary  passionate — and  almost  desperate — 
search  for  the  true  meaning  of  love,  or  self-commitment,  to  another 
person  or  persons,  based  on  an  ever  deeper  insight  into  the  dignity 
and  worth  of  the  individual  and  his  necessary  responsible  relations 
to  the  community. 

Now  the  Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy  embodies  this 
needed  emphasis  on  the  personal  dimension  of  religion,  as  exercised 
in  the  Christian  community  through  the  mystery  of  the  sacraments, 
and  most  especially  the  Eucharist.  Let  me  illustrate  under  two 

1).  The  liturgy,  since  it  is  our  encounter  with  Christ,  demands 
personal  involvement.  The  liturgy,  and  above  all  the  Eucharist,  is 
in  the  first  place  the  highpriestly  action  of  Christ.  It  is  the  mystery 
of  His  saving  acts,  of  His  death  and  resurrection,  activated  or  brought 
somehow  into  the  present  in  order  that  we  might  share  in  them  and 
thus  be  saved.  The  Eucharist  is  the  renewal  of  the  Covenant  ("This 
is  the  Covenant  in  My  Blood"),  a  covenant  between  God  and  His 
people,  between  God  and  each  member  of  His  holy  priestly  people 
through  time.  Hence,  participation  in  the  Eucharist  must  again  be- 
come for  each  Christian  person  subjectively,  personally,  that  which 
it  is  objectively  in  the  plan  of  God — the  fount  of  all  holiness.  Hence, 
too,  the  Council's  concern  about  simplifying  and  clarifying  the  rite  of 
the  Eucharist  (also  of  the  other  sacraments),  that  they  again  become 
easily  and  generally  intelligible,  "that  they  express  more  clearly  the 
holy  things  which  they  signify"  (Art.  21).  The  Church  is  not  an 
aristocracy,  so  that  her  rites  are  for  the  edification  and  (let  me  frankly 
say  it)  for  the  aesthetic  enjoyment  of  a  select  few,  of  an  elite.  The 
Church  is  the  populus  Dei,  the  holy  people  of  God,  and  it  is  precisely 
her  great  dignity  and  honor — and  obligation — that  she  is  above  all 
the  Church  of  the  poor,  also  of  the  illiterate,  of  people  from  factories 
and  farms,  shops  and  kitchens.    She  is  the  Church  of  the  anawim, 


of  God's  little  ones.  All  these  too  must  feel  at  home  in  the  Church,  must 
personally  be  moved,  in  faith  and  love — by  that  which  they  see  and 
hear  and  do.  Hence,  since  participation  in  the  Lord's  Supper,  in  the 
mystery  of  His  saving  death  and  resurrection,  is  the  Christian's 
highest  privilege,  his  most  Christian  act,  such  participation  must,  by 
that  very  fact,  be  his  highest  and  most  personally  conscious  and 
deliberate  exercise  of  faith,  of  hope,  and  of  charity. 

Of  faith.  Every  Sunday,  when  the  Christian  community  meets  to 
celebrate  the  Eucharist,  there  is  first  of  all  a  synaxis,  a  Scripture  ser- 
vice wherein  Christ  speaks  to  His  flock,  to  stir  up  and  enlighten  their 
faith.  The  Creed  is  next  prayed,  wherein  they  renew  their  baptismal 
faith  and  commitment  to  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  But  it  is 
above  all  in  the  Eucharistic  service  itself  that  their  faith  finds  its 
deepening,  its  renewal,  its  fullest  expression.  The  Preface  and  great 
Eucharistic  Prayer  (the  anaphora)  is  addressed  to  the  Father, 
through  the  Son,  in  the  Holy  Spirit.  It  is  the  most  solemn,  the  most 
didactically  and  spiritually  formative  announcement  of  the  saving 
acts  of  God's  history:  "As  often  as  you  do  this,  you  proclaim  the 
death  of  the  Lord,  until  He  comes" ;  and  to  this  proclamation,  the 
people  answer  with  the  scriptural  word  of  faith,  of  personal  Yes,  in 
their  concluding  great  Amen. 

Of  hope.  Ever  since  biblical  and  early  Christian  times,  the  cele- 
bration itself  of  the  Lord's  Supper  has  been  the  greatest  and  most  im- 
portant act  or  expression  of  hope  on  the  part  of  the  Church  and  of 
every  one  of  its  members.  "As  often  as  you  do  this,  you  proclaim 
the  death  of  the  Lord,  until  He  comes  I"  The  Eucharist  is  the  em- 
bodiment of  our  eschatological  faith.  The  earthly  liturgy  is  our  shar- 
ing in  the  heavenly  liturgy  which  the  author  of  Revelation  describes, 
and  whose  vision  was  granted  him  "on  the  Lord's  day" — the  day  of 
the  early  Christian  Eucharistic  assembly.  Hence,  we  dare  to  join 
with  the  heavenly  host,  singing  Holy,  Holy,  Holy.  In  no  other  Chris- 
tian action  do  we  take  part  so  expressly  and  consciously  as  God's 
holy  people,  as  members  of  His  heavenly  family ;  no  other  occasion 
is  of  its  nature  so  calculated  to  remind  us  that  we  are  pilgrims,  so- 
journers on  earth,  whose  true  citizenship  (and  worship)  is  in  heaven. 
(For  that  reason,  too,  a  technical  term  to  describe  the  early  Christian 
community,  especially  when  assembled  in  Sunday  Eucharistic  wor- 
ship, was  "paroikia" — an  assembly  of  pilgrims.)  And  the  food  which 
our  divine  Leader  gives  us  is  heavenly  food,  not  only  in  the  Old 
Testament  "manna"  sense  that  it  comes  from  Heaven's  bounty,  but 
because  it  is  our  Viaticum,  the  food  of  our  earthly  pilgrimage  to 
Heaven.    Hence,  every  Lord's  Supper  is  an  eloquent  Sursum  corda 


— "Up  with  your  hearts."  And  it  was  quite  in  order  that  Paul,  in  his 
Eucharistic  First  Epistle  to  the  Corinthians,  should  conclude  his 
message  with  "Maranatha — come  Lord" ;  and  that  that  same  word 
is  found  in  the  earliest  non-scriptural  description  of  the  Eucharist, 
in  the  Didache,  or  the  Teaching  of  the  Twelve  Apostles.  Most  im- 
portantly, the  Eucharist  is  not  merely  the  expression  of  our  hope 
postponed  into  the  future.  It  is,  in  God's  mercy,  hope  already  realized, 
for  He  Who  is  to  come  in  glory  already  now  becomes  present  in  the 
Eucharistic  assembly,  in  gracious  anticipation  of  that  future  day. 

Of  charity.  And  finally,  the  Eucharist  or  the  Lord's  Supper  is 
our  greatest  personal  and  communal  act  of  charity.  I  will  not 
elaborate  this  point  here,  but  will  speak  of  it  somewhat  more  at 
length  in  my  next  lecture.  The  purpose  of  the  Lord's  Supper,  its 
role  in  the  Church,  is  to  unite  us  in  Christ  and  with  each  other,  in  a 
charity  that  embraces  all  our  brethren  in  Christ,  whether  slave  or  free, 
whether  Jew  or  Greek,  whether  black  or  white,  whether  Catholic  or 
Protestant  or  Moslem  or  Buddhist  or  Animist  or  Atheist.  The  Bread 
we  receive  is  Christ's  body  broken  for  the  many !  And  we  eat  it  and 
drink  Christ's  blood  unworthily,  unto  our  judgment,  unless  we  open 
our  hearts  thereby  and  in  their  strength,  not  just  to  a  warm  over-all 
glow  of  good  will,  but  open  our  hearts  to  bleed  for  Medgar  Evers — 
and  for  those  who  killed  him.  The  Table  of  the  Eucharist  is  our 
Christian  declaration  to  the  world  of  our  duty  of  social  justice  and 

2).  The  liturgy  demands  personal  utmost  involvement  because  it 
is  our  encounter  with  Christ.  This  is,  beyond  doubt,  the  most  impor- 
tant message  of  the  Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy.  Already 
Pius  XII,  in  Mediator  Dei  (his  encyclical  on  the  liturgy,  published  in 
1947),  in  what  was  the  heart  of  that  document,  declared  that,  "Along 
with  the  Church,  her  divine  Founder  is  present  at  every  liturgical 
function.  .  .  .  He  is  present  in  the  sacraments,  infusing  into  them  the 
power  which  makes  them  ready  instruments  of  sanctification" 
(N.  20).  "Christ  acts  each  day  to  save  us,  in  the  sacraments  and  in 
his  holy  sacrifice"  (N.  29).  (One  hears  here  the  echo  of  Saint 
Augustine :  "It  is  not  Peter  who  baptizes,  it  is  not  Paul  who  baptizes, 
it  is  Christ  who  baptizes.")  For  us  Catholics  this  truth,  which  now 
seems  so  obvious  and  traditional,  was  partially  (and  perhaps  largely) 
obscured  by  our  insistence  on  what  we  called  the  Real  Presence, 
i.e.,  the  presence  of  Christ  in  the  consecrated  species  of  bread  and 
wine.  For  if  we  call  that  presence  "real,"  we  perhaps  inevitably 
convey  the  impression  that  other  modes  of  presence  are  somehow 
unreal,  or  merely  figurative.    Certain  it  is  that  Pius  XII's  clear  state- 


ment  already  caused  a  significant  re-orientation  of  thinking  among 
those  who  were  willing  to  listen.  The  Liturgy  Constitution  not  only 
reiterates  but  expands  the  earlier  encyclical  in  at  least  two  important 

In  Article  7,  the  document  states :  "To  accomplish  so  great  a  task 
(i.e.,  to  celebrate  the  paschal  mystery  .  .  .  whereby  the  victory  and  tri- 
umph of  His  death  are  again  made  present)  Christ  is  always  present 
in  His  Church,  especially  in  her  liturgical  celebrations.  He  is  present 
in  the  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  not  only  in  the  person  of  His  minister, 
'the  same  now  offering,  through  the  ministry  of  priests,  who  formerly 
offered  Himself  on  the  cross,'  but  especially  under  the  Eucharistic 
species.  By  His  power  He  is  present  in  the  sacraments,  so  that  when 
a  man  baptizes  it  is  really  Christ  himself  who  baptizes.  He  is  present 
in  His  Word,  since  it  is  He  Himself  who  speaks  when  the  Holy 
Scriptures  are  read  in  the  Church.  He  is  present,  lastly,  when  the 
Church  prays  and  sings,  for  He  promised :  'Where  two  or  three  are 
gathered  together  in  my  name,  there  I  am  in  the  midst  of  them' 
(Matt.  18:20)." 

Please  note,  first  of  all,  the  climactic  emphasis  on  the  presence  of 
Christ  in  the  local  assembly.  The  Church  is  Ecclesia  not  only  in  its 
universal  extension ;  but  Christ  is  present  as  head  to  His  Body  when 
the  local  community,  the  parish,  gathers  for  worship.  This  is  obviously 
of  cardinal  significance  to  our  understanding  of  the  nature  of  the 
Church,  and  I  will  therefore  speak  of  it  in  greater  detail  in  a  sub- 
sequent lecture,  which  deals  with  that  topic. 

But  in  addition  to  this  clarification  of  Christ's  presence  in  the 
local  Ecclesia,  Article  7  of  the  Constitution  breaks  new  ground  for  us 
Catholics,  so  far  as  authoritative  teaching  of  recent  centuries  is  con- 
cerned, by  stating  that  "Christ  is  present  in  His  Word,  since  it  is  He 
Himself  who  speaks  when  the  Holy  Scriptures  are  read  in  the 
Church."  And  since  this  presence  in  His  proclaimed  Word  is 
enumerated  together  with  His  very  real  presence  in  the  action  of  the 
sacraments,  in  the  Eucharist,  and  in  the  local  worshipping  assem- 
bly, this  presence,  too,  cannot  be  called  merely  figurative,  but  is  as 
real  as  in  those  other  instances.  Christianity  is  Christ,  living  and  act- 
ing in  His  body,  the  Church,  and  He  lives  and  acts  supremely,  as 
Priest,  but  also  as  King  (lawgiver)  and  Prophet  (teaching  us  by  His 
Word),  in  the  liturgy.  And  in  the  liturgy,  above  all  other  occasions, 
we  act  with  Him,  we  share  in  his  priestly,  kingly,  and  prophetic  role, 
we  re-enact  His  saving  actions  in  sign,  we  become  sons  of  the  resur- 

We  share  in  them,  however,  only  to  the  extent  to  which  we  open 


ourselves  to  Him,  respond  to  Him,  by  faith.  When  Jesus  worked 
His  miracles  in  Palestine,  He  demanded  as  a  condition  faith  in  Him- 
self; and  the  Gospel  even  records,  in  bold  words,  that  He  could  not 
work  miracles  in  His  native  Nazareth  because  of  that  people's  lack  of 
faith.  One  of  the  all  too  facile  generalizations  concerning  the  division 
of  Protestants  and  Catholics  is  to  claim  that  Protestants  hold  man  to 
be  saved  by  faith,  whereas  Catholics  speak  of  being  saved  by  the 
sacraments.  As  if  "Word"  and  "Sacrament"  were  not  only  rivals  to 
each  other,  but  mutually  exclusive !  We  Catholics  also  believe  that 
man  is  saved  by  faith,  for  we  too  claim  to  be  Christians,  and  the 
witness  of  sacred  Scripture  on  this  point  brooks  no  gainsaying.  I  am 
reminded  of  a  dialogue — incidentally,  the  first  of  its  kind  in  the  U.S. — 
held  at  Saint  John's  Abbey  in  1960  between  five  Protestant  and  five 
Catholic  theologians.  I  am  sure  we  startled  our  Protestant  friends 
on  that  occasion  when  we  stated  that  we  Catholics  also  believe  that 
we  are  saved  sola  fide.  Of  course,  we  hastened  to  explain  that  the 
"sola  fides"  includes  the  sacraments,  and  would  be  incomplete  without 
them,  because  the  sacraments  of  their  nature,  and  according  to 
Catholic  tradition,  are  the  signs  of  faith  willed  by  Christ:  "Unless  you 
believe  and  are  baptized.  .  .  ." 

But  we  also  had  to  admit  that  this  understanding  of  the  sacra- 
ments, as  signs  of  faith,  had  not  been  to  the  forefront  of  average 
Catholic  thinking,  because  of  the  polemical  stress  since  Reformation 
times  on  sacraments  as  causes  of  grace.  We  have  emphasized,  for 
apologetic  reasons,  that  sacraments  cause  grace  ex  opere  operato. 
And  perhaps  I  will  now  startle  some  of  you  if  I  express  a  hearty 
hope,  as  a  Catholic  theologian,  that  at  least  a  temporary  moratorium 
be  placed  on  the  use  of  the  phrase  ex  opere  operato.  I  do  believe  in 
the  ex  opere  operato  causality  of  sacraments.  But  the  all  too  common 
impression  given  by  the  phrase,  of  sacraments  automatically  con- 
ferring grace,  is  not  only  a  distortion  of  our  beliefs,  but  a  denial  of  the 
Christian  belief  that  only  Christ  can  confer  grace — nor  can  anyone, 
anywhere,  at  any  time,  compel  Him  to  do  so,  no  matter  what  sacred 
words  are  spoken  or  action  performed.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  we  have 
not  even  ever  been  able  to  find  a  really  satisfactory  translation  of  the 
phrase.  What  it  means  historically  is  clear :  sacraments  are  not 
things,  they  are  actions  of  Christ,  saving  actions  by  which,  according 
to  His  own  willing,  He  unites  us  to  Himself  to  the  extent  to  which 
we  have  faith,  to  the  extent  to  which  we  say  Yes  to  Him.  I  believe 
that  by  means  of  the  visible  sign  which  we  call  sacrament  I  encounter 
Christ  just  as  truly  as  did  His  contemporaries  in  Palestine  2,000 
years  ago.    But,  as  in  that  encounter,  my  spiritual  eyes  will  not  be 


opened,  my  lame  feet  will  not  be  healed,  unless  I  meet  Christ  in  faith, 
unless,  that  is,  the  sacramental  sign  is  truly  expressive  for  me  of  my 
self-surrender  to  my  Lord.  Ex  opere  operato  does  not  mean  that 
sacraments  have  saving  power  in  themselves,  as  containers.  It  means : 
Christ  works  through  this  sign  which  He  himself  has  instituted. 
Ex  opere  operato  (literally  "by  the  action  performed")  means  in  con- 
text: ex  actione  Christi  ("by  the  action  of  Christ"),  It  is  significant 
to  recall  that  Saint  Thomas  Aquinas,  although  he  had  used  the  phrase 
ex  opere  operato  in  earlier  works,  did  not  employ  it  in  his  great 
mature  theological  work,  the  Summa  Theologica.  Instead,  he  spoke 
of  ex  actione  Christi,  or  ex  virtute  Christi  ("by  the  power  of  Christ") . 
If  that  is  what  the  phrase  really  means,  and  it  is,  then  I  think  there 
will  be  general  gain  if  we  say  so.  The  Protestant  Reformation,  in- 
sofar as  it  was  an  emphasis  on  faith,  was  a  justified  reaction  to  a 
prevalent  all-too-mechanistic  presentation  of  the  sacraments,  in  prac- 
tice if  not  in  principle.  One  is  even  led  to  wonder  whether,  if  in  the 
fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries  Saint  Thomas'  example  had  been 
followed,  and  sacraments  had  been  effectively  and  generally  taught 
to  be  the  saving  acts  of  Christ  in  the  present,  and  therefore  our 
personal  encounter  with  Him  through  faith,  whether,  I  say,  the 
Protestant  Reformation  would  have  happened,  or  happened  as 
it  did,  as  the  tragic  division  of  Christendom.  True,  the  Council 
of  Trent  did  define  that  faith  is  the  root  and  foundation  of  all 
sanctification.  But  by  then  it  was  too  late  to  heal  the  breach,  to 
undo  the  damage  which  the  false  image  of  the  mechanistic  causality 
of  sacraments  had  projected.  And  so,  for  four  centuries,  in  the 
popular  mind  Protestant  sola  fides  has  stood  in  opposition  to 
Catholic  sacramental  causality. 

Here  is  what  the  Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy  says,  in 
Article  59,  introducing  the  chapter  on  the  sacraments :  "Because 
sacraments  are  signs,  they  also  instruct.  They  not  only  presuppose 
faith,  but  by  words  and  objects  they  also  nourish,  strengthen  and 
express  faith;  that  is  why  they  are  called  'sacraments  (i.e.,  signs)  of 
faith.'  They  do  impart  grace,  but,  in  addition,  the  very  act  of  cele- 
brating them  most  effectively  disposes  the  faithful  to  receive  this 
grace  in  a  fruitful  manner,  to  worship  God  duly,  and  to  practice 
charity."  (Not  a  word,  you  will  notice,  of  the  customary  ex  opere 
operato — which  is  at  least  a  temporary  moratorium.) 

The  Article  continues  by  drawing  a  conclusion  from  this  faith- 
dimension  of  sacraments:  "It  is  therefore  of  the  highest  importance 
that  the  faithful  should  easily  understand  the  sacramental  signs." 
Hence  the  thorough  reform  of  all  sacramental  rites  ordered  by  the 


Council,  for,  as  Article  62  declares :  "With  the  passage  of  time,  there 
have  crept  into  the  rites  .  .  .  certain  features  which  have  rendered 
their  nature  and  purpose  far  from  clear  to  the  people  of  today ; 
therefore  some  changes  have  become  necessary  to  adapt  them  to 
the  needs  of  our  times."  And  that  is  the  task  of  the  Post-Conciliar 
Liturgical  Commission,  entrusted  with  the  thorough-going  reform  of 
the  rites  of  Mass,  of  all  the  other  sacraments  and  of  all  liturgical 
rites,  now  in  full  progress.  This  Commission  consists  of  some  forty 
Bishops  from  throughout  the  world,  chosen  especially  because  of 
their  proven  interest  in  pastoral-liturgical  renewal  (its  American 
members  are  Cardinal  Archbishop  Ritter  of  St.  Louis  and  Archbishop 
Hallinan  of  Atlanta),  and  some  one  hundred  and  twenty  consultors, 
with  another  two  hundred  advisors,  including  nearly  every  Catholic 
liturgical  scholar  of  note  from  every  nation,  divided  into  forty-two 
sub-commissions,  many  of  whose  members  are  working  full-time  on 
their  respective  projects.  This  thorough  reform  of  the  Catholic 
liturgy,  the  first  such  systematic  and  planned  reform  in  the  history 
of  the  Church,  may  take  anywhere  from  four  to  six  or  seven  years. 
I  sincerely  believe  that,  as  a  result  of  its  efforts,  we  may  look  forward 
optimistically  to  the  Eucharist  becoming  a  far  more  meaningful 
experience,  deepening  our  faith,  hope  and  love. 

In  all  events,  it  is  evident  that  the  liturgical  reforms  are  taking 
place  primarily  in  the  interest  of  faith — to  make  the  sacraments, 
which  by  definition  are  signs  of  faith,  fully  and  surely  such :  i.e.,  ex- 
pressions of  the  faith  of  the  Church,  that  Christ  through  these  signs 
is  presently  continuing  His  highpriestly  work  of  salvation ;  and  signs 
deepening  and  renewing  the  personal  faith  of  the  Christian  in  this, 
his  personal  encounter  with  his  Savior. 

This,  too,  the  word  or  faith-dimension  of  sacraments,  underlies  the 
strikingly  drastic  increase  in  the  use  of  sacred  Scripture  ordered  by 
the  Constitution,  and  its  insistence  on  frequent  homilies.  For  faith 
comes  through  hearing. 

Herewith  some  pertinent  quotations:  "Sacred  Scripture  is  of  the 
greatest  importance  in  the  celebration  of  the  liturgy.  For  it  is  from 
Scripture  that  lessons  are  read  and  explained  in  the  homily,  and 
psalms  are  sung;  the  prayers,  collects  and  liturgical  songs  are 
scriptural  in  their  inspiration,  and  it  is  from  the  Scriptures  that 
actions  and  signs  derive  their  meaning.  Thus  to  achieve  the  restora- 
tion, progress  and  adaptation  of  the  Sacred  Liturgy,  it  is  essential 
to  promote  that  warm  and  living  love  for  Scripture  to  which  the 
venerable  traditions  of  both  Eastern  and  Western  rites  give  testi- 
mony" (Art.  24). 


"In  sacred  celebrations  there  is  to  be  more  reading  from  Holy 
Scripture,  and  it  is  to  be  more  varied  and  suitable"  (Art.  35).  In 
fact  (it  is  already  taken  for  granted)  in  the  Mass  of  the  future,  instead 
of  a  one-year  cycle  of  Scripture  readings  as  at  present,  with  always 
the  same  Epistle  and  Gospel  on  a  respective  Sunday,  there  will  be  a 
several-year  cycle  of  readings,  with  probably  an  additional  reading 
from  the  Old  Testament  for  every  Sunday  and  major  feast.  But 
not  only  will  there  be  an  increase  of  Scripture  readings  in  Mass. 
The  Constitution  says :  "In  sacred  celebrations" — hence,  very  likely 
a  Scripture  reading  or  readings  will  be  a  normal  part  in  the  ad- 
ministration of  the  other  sacraments  as  well. 

Article  35  continues  :  "The  sermon  is  part  of  the  liturgical  service." 
No  longer,  therefore,  is  the  sermon  merely  an  optional,  or  an  ad 
libitum  annex — as  which  it  has  perhaps  too  frequently  been  considered 
up  to  now,  with  a  consequent  minimizing  and  even  neglect  of  its 
critical  importance.  "The  sermon,  moreover,  should  draw  its  content 
mainly  from  scriptural  and  liturgical  sources,  and  its  character  should 
be  that  of  the  proclamation  of  God's  wonderful  works  in  the  history 
of  salvation,  the  mystery  of  Christ,  ever  made  present  and  active 
within  us,  especially  in  the  celebration  of  the  liturgy."  "Bible  services 
should  be  encouraged,  especially  on  the  vigils  of  the  more  solemn 
feasts,  on  some  weekdays  in  Advent  and  Lent,  and  on  Sundays 
and  on  feastdays."  This  will  mean  in  the  concrete,  that  such  Bible 
services  will  very  probably  take  the  place  of  the  customary  evening 
devotions,  which  now  often  consist  for  the  most  part  of  the  recita- 
tion of  the  rosary  and  a  few  hymns,  followed  by  Benediction. 

In  a  word,  a  considerable  increase  of  sacred  Scripture  is  de- 
manded, outside  as  well  as  within  the  official  liturgy.  This  would 
seem  a  tacit  admission  of  previous  relative  neglect  in  practice.  It 
is,  indeed,  a  bitter  pill  for  us  Catholics  to  swallow,  to  admit  that  we 
have  indeed  given  less  than  its  due  role  to  sacred  Scripture.  When 
speaking  of  this  matter  to  Catholic  audiences,  I  sometimes  present 
them  with  a  test  case.  If,  while  traveling  on  a  bus,  a  train,  or  plane,  we 
see  someone  absorbed  in  the  study  of  the  New  Testament,  with 
perhaps  pencil  in  hand,  making  annotations  in  the  margin,  what 
are  the  odds  of  his  being  a  Catholic  or  Protestant  ?  I  believe  the  odds 
are  such  that  it  would  be  unethical  to  make  a  bet ! 

Because  of  the  centrality  of  the  Eucharist,  and  its  formative  role 
in  the  life  of  the  Christian  community,  it  is  above  all  in  the  Sunday 
Eucharist  that  homily  and  sacred  Scripture  are,  according  to  the 
Constitution,  to  be  given  new  and  more  urgent  prominence.  "The 
homily  is  to  be  highly  esteemed  to  be  part  of  the  liturgy  itself"  (Art. 


52) — this  is  the  second  time  that  this  is  inculcated  in  this  same  docu- 
ment. "In  fact,  at  those  Masses  which  are  celebrated  with  the  as- 
sistance of  the  people  on  Sundays  and  feasts  of  obligation,  the  homily 
may  not  be  omitted,  except  for  a  serious  reason"  (Art.  52).  In  sum: 
"The  treasures  of  the  Bible  are  to  be  opened  up  more  lavishly,  so 
that  richer  fare  may  be  provided  for  the  faithful  at  the  table  of  God's 
word"  (Art.  51).  Here  the  Constitution  even  introduces  a  change  of 
traditional  terminology.  We  have  been  accustomed  to  speak  of  the 
Mass  of  the  Catechumens  and  the  Mass  of  the  Faithful.  The  Constitu- 
tion speaks  of  the  Service  of  the  Word  and  the  Eucharistic  Service,  of 
the  "table  of  God's  word,"  corresponding  to  the  table  of  God's 
bread:  for  "Not  from  bread  alone  does  man  live  (not  even  from 
the  bread  of  Christ's  sacred  body),  but  from  every  word  that  pro- 
ceeds from  the  mouth  of  God." 

The  ecumenical  import  of  this  greater  role  to  be  assigned  to 
sacred  Scripture  in  the  reformed  Catholic  liturgy  hardly  requires 
underscoring.  Moreover,  in  a  number  of  Churches — Anglican, 
Presbyterian,  Lutheran  among  others — there  has  become  operative  a 
similar  desire  to  "provide  a  richer  fare  for  the  faithful  at  the  table 
of  God's  word,"  resulting  in  new,  and  sometimes  as  yet  experimental, 
lectionaries  in  a  two-  or  three-year  cycle.  Already  in  some  parts  of 
the  English-speaking  world,  too,  the  dream  of  a  common  Bible  has 
been  realized :  in  England  and  Scotland,  e.g.,  the  Catholic  Bishops 
have  permitted  the  general  use  of  the  Revised  Standard  Version. 
Thus,  even  though  we  cannot  as  yet  give  expression  to  our  common 
desire  for  Christian  unity  by  eating  at  the  same  table  of  Christ's  body, 
Divine  Providence  would  seem  to  be  drawing  us  together  in  fra- 
ternal understanding  and  charity,  by  this  our  greater  common  par- 
taking of  the  selfsame  bread  of  His  living  and  life-giving  word. 
For  this  His  merciful  gift,  we  humbly  thank  Him,  and  pray  to  be 
faithful  to  His  will. 

II.  The  Nature  of  the  Church 
and  Its  Government 

Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

The  Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  (On  the  Church),  as  originally 
drawn  up  and  presented  to  the  second  session  in  the  fall  of  1963, 
proved  a  severe  disappointment.*  During  the  five  weeks  it  was 
discussed  on  the  Council  floor,  from  September  23  to  October  31, 
hardly  a  kind  voice  was  heard  in  its  defense,  except  from  those  who 
had  had  part  in  its  drafting,  or  by  the  predictable  defenders  of  the 
status  quo. 

Archbishop  Martin  of  Rouen  in  France,  speaking  in  the  name  of 
the  French  hierarchy,  summarized  the  general  discontent  as  follows: 
Its  chief  fault  (he  said)  was  that,  though  it  professed  to  deal  ex 
professo  with  the  nature  of  the  Church,  it  presented,  despite  its  pro- 
testations to  the  contrary,  a  view  of  the  Church  that  is  still  pri- 
marily institutional,  and  therefore  at  variance  with  the  ecclesiology 
that  is  embodied  in  the  Schema  "On  the  Liturgy,"  which  has  al- 
ready been  adopted  and  approved  by  the  Council.  In  other  words,  the 
proposed  Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  gives  priority  to  the  government 
of  the  Church,  rather  than  to  the  intrinsic  nature  of  the  Church  as  a 
worshipping  community,  centering  its  life  in  the  Eucharist  or  Lord's 
Supper — of  which  more  basic  question  government,  albeit  essential, 
is  only  supplementary  and  consequential. 

This  intervention  of  Archbishop  Martin  seemed  to  express  the 
mind  of  the  great  majority  present.  It  received  confirmation  in  the 
talk  of  Cardinal  Suenens  of  Malines,  Belgium,  which  was  probably 
the  turning-point  (as,  to  my  thinking,  it  was  certainly  the  climax) 
of  the  second  session.  The  talk  is  reprinted  in  the  paperback 
volume,  Council  Speeches  of  Vatican  II,  edited  by  Fathers  Kiing, 
O'Hanlon,  and  Congar,  published  recently  by  the  Paulist  Press. 
Significantly,  Cardinal  Suenens'  talk  is  given  pride  of  place  in  this 
collection.  The  Cardinal  spoke  of  the  charismatic  nature  of  the 
Church.  The  general  tenor  of  his  crucial  intervention  may  perhaps  be 
sensed  from  the  following  citations : 

"The   Holy   Spirit   is   the   first-fruits    (Romans   8:23),   the   first 

*  Since  this  paper  was  given,  the  Constitution  on  the  Church  has  been  revised, 
promulgated  and  published. — G.L.D. 


installment  of  the  Church  (2  Cor.  1:22;  5:5)  in  this  world.  There- 
fore the  Church  is  called  the  dwelling  of  God  in  the  Spirit  (Eph. 
2:22).  It  follows  from  this  that  the  Holy  Spirit  is  not  given  to 
pastors  only,  but  to  each  and  every  Christian.  'Do  you  not  know 
that  you  are  the  temple  of  God,  and  that  the  Holy  Spirit  dwells  in 
you?'  says  St.  Paul  to  the  Corinthians  (1  Cor.  3:16).  In  baptism, 
the  sacrament  of  faith,  all  Christians  receive  the  Holy  Spirit.  All 
Christians,  'living  stones'  as  they  are  called,  are  to  be  built  into  a 
'spiritual  dwelling' — oikos  pneumatikos  (2  Pet.  2:5).  Therefore 
the  whole  Church  is  essentially  a  truly  'pneumatic'  or  spiritual  reality, 
built  on  the  foundation  not  only  of  the  Apostles,  but,  as  Eph.  2  :20 
says,  also  of  prophets.  .  .  .  Each  and  every  Christian,  whether  let- 
tered or  unlettered,  has  his  charism  in  his  daily  life,  but — as  St. 
Paul  says — 'All  of  these  must  aim  at  one  thing :  to  build  up  the 
church'  (1  Cor.  14:26;  cf.  14:3-5)." 

This  charismatic,  pneumatic  or  spiritual  nature  of  the  Church  is 
its  first  characteristic.  The  Church  is  the  body  of  Christ,  in  which  the 
Holy  Spirit  dwells  and  is  active  and  informs  all  its  members.  Onto- 
logically,  the  Church  is  the  spiritual  body  of  Christ  before  it  is  an 
hierarchical  body.  The  distinction  between  hierarchy  (pope,  bishops, 
priests,  deacons)  and  the  laity,  though  essential  to  the  nature  of  the 
Church  because  so  willed  equally  and  simultaneously  by  Christ,  is 
derivative  and  complementary  to  the  nature  of  the  Church  as  the 
people  of  God,  the  body  of  Christ,  in  which  the  Spirit  dwells,  en- 
abling it  to  worship  in  spirit  and  truth,  and  to  bring  the  spirit  of  wor- 
ship to  bear  upon  the  world  for  its  transformation. 

Parenthetically,  it  might  be  added  that  this  is  perhaps  the  first 
time  since  the  Reformation  of  the  16th  century,  that  it  has  been  so 
clearly  and  publicly  stated  that  the  Protestant  reformers  had  a  true 
insight  into  the  nature  of  the  Church  as  a  spiritual  body.  Though, 
as  Catholics,  we  would  immediately  add  that  this  true  insight  was 
tragically  marred  by  their  rejection  of  the  hierarchical  dimension, 
against  which  it  was  a  reaction.  And  the  tragedy  was  compounded 
by  our  Catholic  failure,  in  the  heat  of  controversy,  to  recognize  and 
admit  the  Tightness  of  the  insight.  Instead,  we  insisted  more  vigor- 
ously than  before  on  the  institutional  and  hierarchical  at  the  practical 
expense  of  the  prophetic. 

In  any  event,  as  a  result  of  this  discussion  in  the  second  session, 
an  all-important  change  in  the  Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  was  decided 
upon.  The  original  draft,  after  treating  of  Christ,  founder  and  head 
of  the  Church,  passed  next  to  a  consideration  of  the  hierarchy,  and 
thirdly,  to  the  laity.   The  Theological  Commission  responsible  for  the 


wording  of  the  text  was  instructed  by  the  Council  to  revise  the 
Schema  so  that,  after  a  first  chapter  on  Christ,  the  next  chapter  will 
deal  with  the  entire  populus  Dei,  the  people  of  God,  the  body  of 
Christ,  embracing  both  hierarchy  and  laity,  and  then,  in  the  third  in- 
stance only,  there  will  be  the  articulation  of  this  people  of  God  into 
successive  treatments  of  hierarchy  and  laity. 

This  thoroughly  revised  Schema  was  presented  to  the  third  ses- 
sion of  the  Council  as  the  first  matter  on  its  agenda  when  it  met 
a  month  ago,  in  mid-September.  It  is,  to  all  effects  and  purposes,  an 
almost  completely  new  document,  a  superb  biblical  and  pastoral 
portrayal  of  the  Mystery  of  the  Church.  Though  discussion  of  it 
lasted  a  month,  one  could  sense  the  general  satisfaction  with  it  on 
the  part  of  the  great  majority  of  the  Council  Fathers,  and  it  is  confi- 
dently expected  that  after  some  of  the  final  corrections  and  improve- 
ments will  have  been  embodied,  it  will  be  officially  promulgated  at 
the  close  of  this  session,  to  take  its  place,  with  the  Constitution  on 
the  Sacred  Liturgy,  as  one  of  the  most  historically  significant  declara- 
tions of  the  Catholic  Church,  and  as  a  documentary  foundation  for 
her  earnest  purpose  of  self-reformation  and  renewal.  Archbishop 
Martin's  criticism  has  been  successfully  met,  and  the  ecclesiology 
implicit  in  the  Liturgy  Constitution  here  finds  its  complementation 
and  more  expansive  development.  In  view  of  the  fact  that  the  docu- 
ment "De  Ecclesia"  is  not  yet  available,  I  will  attempt,  for  the  present, 
to  indicate  several  of  the  salient  features  most  relevant  to  the  mystery 
of  the  Church  as  they  have  already  found  expression  in  the  Liturgy 
Constitution,  and  which  are  presupposed  and  will  find  more  ample 
and  intense  consideration  in  the  new  document  "De  Ecclesia." 

The  Church  is,  before  all  else,  a  Mystery,  the  holy  people  of  God, 
united  and  ordered  under  their  Bishops  (this  is  the  famous  quotation 
from  Saint  Cyprian)  for  the  primary  purpose  of  worshipping  God. 
"The  pre-eminent  manifestation  (epiphany)  of  the  Church  consists 
in  the  full,  active  participation  of  all  God's  holy  people  in  the  liturgical 
celebrations,  especially  in  the  same  Eucharist,  in  a  single  prayer,  at 
one  altar  at  which  there  presides  the  Bishop  surrounded  by  his  col- 
lege of  priests,  and  by  his  ministers"  (Art.  41,  quoting  Saint  Ignatius 
of  Antioch).  Or  again,  in  Art.  2,  "The  liturgy  through  which  the 
work  of  our  redemption  is  accomplished,  most  of  all  in  the  divine 
sacrifice  of  the  Eucharist,  is  the  outstanding  means  by  which  the 
faithful  may  express  in  their  lives,  and  manifest  to  others,  the  mystery 
of  Christ  and  the  real  nature  of  the  true  Church."  "It  is  the  liturgy 
(and,  in  context,  this  means  the  Eucharist)  which  builds  up  those  who 
are  within  into  a  holy  temple  of  the  Lord,  into  a  dwelling  place  for 


God  in  the  Spirit  to  the  mature  measure  of  the  fulness  of  Christ." 
Even  more  decisively  it  is  stated  in  Articles  9  and  10  that  teaching 
and  ruling  (or  government)  are  functions  subsidiary  to  worship: 
"From  the  liturgy,  therefore,  and  especially  from  the  Eucharist,  as 
from  a  fount,  grace  is  poured  forth  upon  us;  and  the  sanctification 
of  men  in  Christ  and  the  glorification  of  God,  to  which  all  other  activi- 
ties are  directed  as  toward  their  end,  is  achieved  in  the  most  effi- 
cacious way." 

Though  the  document  does  not  use  the  term,  it  is  clear  that  it 
regards  the  Eucharist  as  the  Ur-Sakrament  (primal  sacrament). 
Christ  is  the  Ur-Sakrament;  the  Church,  the  visible  sign  of  Christ 
through  time  is  the  Ur-Sakrament  (the  "sacrament  of  unity"  it  is 
called  in  Art.  26.)  ;  and  the  Eucharist  is  the  Ur-Sakrament,  the  sign 
which  is  the  epiphany  of  the  Church  and  of  Christ  to  the  faithful  and 
to  the  world,  the  sign  which  proclaims  the  death  of  the  Lord.  Even 
baptism  is  not  an  end  in  itself :  rather  it  is  a  sacrament  of  initiation, 
with  a  eucharistic  finality :  "so  that  all  who  are  made  sons  of  God 
by  faith  and  baptism  should  come  together  to  praise  God  in  the  midst 
of  His  Church,  to  take  part  in  the  sacrifice,  and  to  eat  the  Lord's 
Supper"  (Art.  10).  We  become  sons  of  God,  in  order  that  we  may, 
as  members  of  His  family,  worship  Him  properly,  and  by  that  very 
fact  become  duly  functioning  family  members.  The  purpose  of  the 
Eucharist  is  the  up-building  of  the  body  of  Christ.  The  Eucharist 
constitutes,  forms,  yes,  "creates"  the  people  of  God :  "This  is  the 
covenant  in  my  blood.  .  .  ." 

This  formative  power  and  purpose  of  the  Eucharistic  bread  was 
already  foreshadowed  in  its  type  in  the  Old  Testament,  the  manna, 
whereby  God  more  closely  welded  together  "His  people."  It  is  un- 
mistakably clear  in  1  Cor.  10:17:  "Because  there  is  one  loaf,  we 
who  are  many  are  one  body,  for  we  all  partake  of  the  same  loaf." 
The  purpose  of  the  letter,  we  recall,  was  to  heal  the  schism  in  the 
contentious  Corinthian  Church.  Paul  says  further:  "The  cup  of  bless- 
ing which  we  bless,  is  it  not  communion  (koinonia,  fellowship)  in  the 
blood  of  Christ?  The  bread  which  we  break,  is  it  not  communion 
{koinonia,  fellowship)  in  the  body  of  Christ?"  (1  Cor.  10:16).  This 
topic  sentence  is  then  developed  in  the  subsequent  chapters.  In 
chapter  11,  we  have  an  account  of  the  institution  of  the  Eucharist, 
the  sacrament  or  sign  of  unity.  In  Chapter  12  is  described  the  variety 
of  gifts,  all  deriving  from  the  same  Spirit,  all  contributing  to  the 
one  body  :  in  other  words,  the  doctrine  of  unity.  And  in  Chapter  13, 
the  canticle  of  fraternal  charity,  the  ethical  or  moral  realization  of 
unity  is  portrayed.    The  sacrament  of  unity,  the  doctrine  of  unity, 


and  the  morals  of  unity — and  these  three  are  one.  That  this  juxta- 
position is  more  than  a  happy  accident  becomes  evident  from  the 
Gospel  accounts  of  the  Institution. 

The  Last  Supper  was  an  intimate  family  paschal  meal,  or,  at  the 
very  least,  it  took  place  in  the  setting  of  a  meal  with  paschal  connota- 
tions. Its  significance  as  a  sign  of  unity  and  charity  is  strengthened 
by  the  account  of  the  washing  of  feet.  There  follows,  in  John's  Gospel, 
the  doctrine  of  unity :  the  parable  of  the  vine  and  branches,  together 
with  the  highpriestly  prayer,  "That  they  may  be  one,  as  thou 
Father  in  me  and  I  in  Thee.  .  .  ."  And  thirdly,  as  in  Saint  Paul's 
account,  there  is  presented  the  moral  dimension  of  unity  by  means 
of  the  Last  Discourse's  stress  on  fraternal  charity :  "By  this  shall 
all  men  know  that  you  are  my  disciples,  that  you  have  love  one  for 
another.  .  .  ."  This  interpretation  is  not  weakened  if,  as  some  Scrip- 
ture scholars  maintain,  not  all  the  words  of  this  discourse  were  do 
facto  spoken  on  this  occasion.  The  evangelist,  with  sure  instinct 
(the  instinct  of  the  Holy  Spirit),  placed  them  in  this  context,  where 
they  would  be  most  appropriate. 

This  role  of  the  Eucharist,  or  Lord's  Supper,  as  formative  of  the 
Christian  community,  was  also  well  understood  in  the  early  Church. 
Thus,  for  instance,  Clement  of  Rome,  writing  to  the  Corinthians  at 
the  turn  of  the  first  century,  and  faced  with  the  same  situation  in  the 
Corinthian  Church  to  which  Paul  addressed  himself,  gave  the  same 
answer  as  Paul — and  in  the  same  order.  He  first  describes  the 
celebration  of  the  Eucharist  in  Chapters  40  and  41 :  "Let  each  one  of 
you,  brethren,  join  in  the  Eucharist  according  to  his  rank.  .  .  ."  Then, 
in  Chapter  46,  he  treats  of  the  mystical  body,  of  the  need  of  unity, 
and  the  criminal  nature  of  disunity :  "Why  do  we  divide  and  tear 
asunder  the  members  of  Christ,  and  raise  up  strife  against  our  own 
body,  and  reach  such  a  pitch  of  madness  as  to  forget  that  we  are 
members  one  of  another?"  And  finally,  in  Chapter  50,  he  voices 
his  great  hymn  on  charity,  almost  in  the  same  words  as  Paul. 

The  identical  lesson  can  be  drawn  from  the  Didache,  the  Teaching 
of  the  Twelve  Apostles,  in  which  we  have  the  earliest  description  of  the 
Eucharist  in  Christian  non-scriptural  writing.  It  is  in  this  document 
that  we  have  the  first  instance  of  the  famous  simile  of  the  many 
grains  of  wheat  making  up  the  one  bread,  a  simile  which  then  became 
commonplace  in  subsequent  writers  and  was  especially  beloved  by 
Augustine :  "As  this  broken  bread  was  scattered  upon  the  mountains, 
but  was  brought  together  and  became  one,  so  let  thy  Church  be 
gathered  together  from  the  ends  of  the  earth  into  thy  kingdom." 
Multiple    further    testimony    from    the    Fathers    could    be    adduced. 


Particularly  forceful  is  the  witness  of  Saint  John  Chrysostom,  repre- 
senting the  East,  and  Saint  Augustine,  representing  the  West.  Cen- 
turies later,  Saint  Thomas  Aquinas  was  only  summarizing  both 
Scripture  and  patristic  teaching  when  he  stated :  "Res  hums  sacra- 
menti  est  unitas  mystici  Corporis — the  purpose,  the  effect,  the  grace 
of  this  sacrament  is  the  unity  of  the  Mystical  Body."  The  Eucharist 
is  the  sacrament,  the  sign  that  signifies  and  brings  about  the  Church's 

I  think,  in  fact,  that  a  good  case  could  be  made  for  the  thesis  that 
both  Scripture  and  patristic  writing  almost  take  for  granted,  and 
therefore  lay  less  stress  on,  the  Eucharist  uniting  us  to  God  (let  us  call 
this  the  vertical  line),  but  insist  more  frequently  and  more  urgently 
on  the  Lord's  Supper  uniting  us  to  each  other  in  Christ  as  His  family 
of  brethren  (let  us  call  this  the  horizontal  line).  The  Ecclesia  cele- 
brates the  Eucharist,  partakes  of  the  Lord's  Supper,  in  order  to 
become  more  fully  and  truly  the  Ecclesia.  Or,  to  paraphrase  Saint 
Paul,  we  eat  the  Lord's  body  in  order  to  become  ever  more  really  His 
mystical  body.  The  food  which  the  Lord  prepares  for  us  at  His 
table  is  food  with  a  specific  purpose :  "That  he  might  gather  into  one 
the  children  of  God  who  were  scattered  abroad"  (John  11 :52).  The 
Eucharist  is  the  self-realization  of  the  Church,  her  epiphany  to  the 

I  believe  that  two  important  consequences  follow : 
1).  That  in  a  very  profound  sense,  Ecclesia  and  Eucharistia  are 
co-terminous  and  co-extensive.  The  Ecclesia  is  never  so  much  ecclesia 
as  when  it  gathers  to  celebrate  the  Lord's  Supper.  "And  they  devoted 
themselves  to  the  Apostles'  teaching  and  fellowship  ( koinonia) ,  to  the 
breaking  of  bread,  and  the  prayers"  (Acts  2:42).  From  the  very 
first  generation  after  Christ  the  Sunday  meeting  of  the  Christians  was 
normally  a  Eucharistic  synaxis  and  meal,  and  thereby  they  were,  in 
the  power  of  the  Spirit  and  in  the  strength  of  this  bread,  moulded 
into  a  strong  body  of  Christ ;  they  became  more  consciously  and  de- 
liberately members  of  each  other,  because  more  fully  members  of 
Christ.  Hence,  it  is  not  surprising  to  learn,  as  Pere  de  Lubac  points 
out  in  his  historical  study,  Corpus  Mysticum,  that  for  approximately 
a  thousand  years  the  term  mystical  body  signified  the  Eucharistic 
bread,  and  only  then  it  came  to  be  applied  almost  exclusively  to  the 
Church.  That  is,  to  repeat :  ecclesia  and  eucharistia  are  in  their  deep- 
est meaning  co-extensive.  This,  too,  I  might  recall,  was  a  statement 
of  principle  derived  from  Scripture  study  proposed  at  the  Faith  and 
Order  meeting  in  Lund,  Sweden,  in  1952 ;  and  I  believe  that  it  is  pre- 
cisely since  that  meeting  that  in  many  Protestant  Churches  there  has 


been  a  determined  effort  to  observe  the  Lord's   Supper  more  fre- 
quently, and  even  every  Sunday. 

2).  A  second  conclusion  is  a  lesson  which  we  Catholics,  certainly, 
must  re-discover  in  its  pastoral  and  moral  consequences.  If  it  is  by 
Christ's  Eucharistic  body,  above  all,  that  we  become  more  truly 
Christ's  mystical  body,  then  God's  gift  becomes  our  personal  and 
communal  obligation.  Like  the  disciples  at  Emmaus,  we  too,  in  the 
breaking  of  bread,  must  discover  Christ,  the  whole  Christ,  head  and 
members.  And  yet,  in  a  recent  sociological  study  in  what  was  re- 
garded as  a  model  Catholic  parish,  though  well  over  90%  of  the 
parishioners  knew  that  the  Mass  is  supposed  to  unite  them  to  God 
(i.e.,  in  what  we  earlier  called  the  vertical  line),  only  a  minority  or 
some  30%  had  any  realistic  living  awareness  of  the  horizontal — 
fraternal  charity — dimension  and  purpose  of  the  eucharistic  bread. 
These  are  frightening  statistics,  no  less  so  because  they  could  probably 
be  duplicated  with  an  even  more  depressing  result  percentagewise  in 
many  of  our  parishes. 

By  Christ's  will,  we  receive  His  body  and  blood  into  our  hearts 
in  order  that  thereby  we  may  learn  to  open  our  minds  and  hearts  to 
the  many  for  whom  He  died — our  brethren.  Fraternal  charity  is  the 
first  and  greatest  commandment,  and  Christ  gave  us  the  Eucharist, 
the  greatest  sacrament,  that  we  might  with  His  strength  observe  this 
first  and  most  difficult  commandment.  It  was  at  the  Last  Supper  that 
Jesus  told  us :  "By  this  shall  all  men  know  that  you  are  my  disciples 
that  you  have  love  one  for  another."  I  am  afraid  that,  in  the  practical 
order,  for  many  Catholics  the  statement  would,  in  all  realistic  honesty, 
have  to  be  revised  to  read :  "By  this  shall  all  men  know  that  you  are 
Catholics,  that  you  don't  eat  meat  on  Friday."  The  only  fair  de- 
duction from  this  state  of  things  is  that  we  teachers  have  taught  poorly. 
We  have  not  convinced  our  people  that  we  profane  the  body  and  blood 
of  Christ  if  we  receive  them  and  continue  to  practice  discrimination, 
if  we  fail  to  be  passionately  concerned  about  better  housing,  fair  em- 
ployment, decent  living  on  the  part  of  all  our  brothers  in  Christ.  The 
Eucharistic  body  of  Christ  builds  up  the  community  of  Christians, 
the  parish,  but  parochialism  is  a  sin  against  Christ's  body  and  blood. 
The  Lord's  Supper  is  a  spiritual  and  social  ferment,  more,  it  is  dyna- 
mite— and  we  have  casually,  if  unwittingly,  extinguished  the  fuse. 

The  Council,  moreover,  accepted  and  made  its  own  the  descriptive 
definition  of  the  liturgy  which  Pope  Pius  XII,  in  his  encyclical  "On 
the  Liturgy"  in  1947,  had  declared  to  be  "the  worship  rendered  by 
the  mystical  body  in  the  entirety  of  its  head  and  members"  (N.  20). 
It  is  "an  action  of  Christ,  the  priest,  and  of  His  body,  which  is  the 


Church,"  and  for  this  reason  it  is  "a  sacred  action  surpassing  all 
others"  (Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy,  Art.  7).  That  is  to  say, 
the  Liturgy — and  especially  the  Eucharist,  which  is  the  most  important 
activity  of  the  Church,  revealing  most  clearly  her  inner  essence — is 
not  an  action,  in  the  first  instance,  of  the  ordained  priest  for  the 
benefit  of  the  laity,  nor  his  professional  activity  in  which  the  laity 
are  allowed  to  participate  to  a  certain  limited  extent.  Rather,  every 
act  of  the  liturgy  is  the  act  of  the  whole  Christ,  of  Christ  the  head  and 
of  His  whole  body.  The  biblical  usage  of  applying  the  word  priest 
(hiereus)  to  Christ  and  to  the  entire  "chosen  race,  a  royal  priesthood, 
a  holy  nation,  a  purchased  people"  ( 1  Pet.  2  :9)  is  faithfully  echoed. 
The  whole  people  of  God,  clergy  and  laity,  constitute  "a  spiritual 
house,  a  holy  priesthood,  to  offer  spiritual  sacrifices  acceptable  to  God 
through  Jesus  Christ"  (1  Pet.  2:5).  The  Church  is  Ecclesia,  the 
priestly  people  of  God,  "sealed  with  the  promised  Holy  Spirit  ...  to 
the  praise  of  His  glory"  (Eph.  1 :14). 

Moreover,  this  Ecclesia  becomes  visible  living  reality  most  im- 
mediately in  the  local  worshipping  community,  in  what  we  in  the 
course  of  time  have  come  to  call  the  parish.  Therefore  the  Consti- 
tution, in  the  same  Art.  7,  basing  itself  on  our  Lord's  words,  states : 
"To  accomplish  so  great  a  work  (i.e.,  to  reactivate  the  paschal 
mystery),  Christ  is  always  present  in  His  Church,  especially  in  her 
liturgical  celebrations.  .  .  .  He  is  present  when  the  Church  prays 
and  sings,  for  He  promised,  'where  two  or  three  are  gathered  to- 
gether in  My  name,  there  I  am  in  the  midst  of  them'  (Matt.  18  :20)." 

Doubtless  one  of  the  most  important  ecclesiological  features  of 
the  Constitution  is  its  emphasis  on  the  presence  of  Christ  in  the 
local  assembly.  The  Church  is  ecclesia  not  only  in  its  universal  ex- 
tension; Christ  is  present  as  head  to  His  body  when  the  local  com- 
munity, the  parish,  gathers  for  worship.  This  thought  is  repeated 
in  Article  42,  which  treats  specifically  of  the  parish  as  realizing 
somehow  (but  truly)  the  concept  of  ecclesia.  For  the  average  Chris- 
tian, it  is  his  parish  church  and  the  Lord's  Supper  there  participated 
in  that  constitute  his  immediate  and  experienced  belonging  to  the 
Church,  his  encounter  with  Christ  in  the  community.  It  is  there  that 
he  must  experience  the  brotherhood  of  his  fellow  members.  It  is 
there  that  his  mind  and  heart  must  be  opened,  by  his  Eucharistic  ex- 
perience, to  his  brotherhood  with  every  soul  redeemed  by  Christ, 
including  the  Patagonian  who  has  never  even  heard  of  Jesus. 

For  us  Catholics  this  declaration  of  the  Constitution  is  one  of  its 
most  significant  contributions.  No  doubt  because  our  thinking  about 
the  Church  has  been  so  conditioned  by  the  traditional  institutional 


emphasis,  despite  our  awareness  of  its  inadequacies  and  our  efforts 
to  overcome  it,  "Church"  meant  for  us  the  Catholic  universal 
Church,  of  which  diocese  and  parish  were  geographical  parts,  ad- 
ministrative divisions.  The  mystery  of  the  local  ecclesia  was  all  too 
much  overlooked.  The  Constitution,  therefore,  without  of  course 
impugning  the  reality  of  the  Church's  universality  or  catholicity, 
focuses  our  attention,  in  biblical  fashion  and  words,  on  the  mysterion 
of  the  local  worshipping  community,  constituting  an  ecclesia  in  which 
Christ  dwells  and,  with  His  body,  His  holy  people,  is  active  in  the 
things  pertaining  to  the  Father's  glory :  "Where  two  or  three  are 
gathered  in  my  name.  .  .  ." 

And  because  of  this  newly  recognized  nature  and  role  of  the  local 
community,  the  Constitution,  anticipating  in  this  an  historically 
important  change  of  ecclesiological  polity  which  had  not  as  yet  even 
been  brought  up  on  the  Council  floor  (namely,  the  idea  of  episcopal 
collegiality),  grants  to  territorial  groups  of  bishops  certain  powers 
of  adapting  the  rites  of  the  liturgy  to  suit  local  conditions — of  which 
they,  obviously,  are  the  best  judges.  By  way  of  parenthesis:  this 
meant  that  the  Council  approved  collegiality  in  pastoral  practice 
before  it  had  discussed  it  in  theological  principle.  The  import  of  this 
recognition  of  the  significance  of  the  local  ecclesia  is  equally  far- 
reaching;  namely,  that  unity,  and  not  uniformity,  is  one  of  the 
essential  notes  of  the  universal  Church ;  that  uniformity  can  in  fact 
be  stifling,  life-killing;  that,  to  quote  a  biblical  phrase  which  was  a 
Christian  ideal  for  at  least  a  thousand  years,  the  Church  is  a  bride 
"circumdata  varietate — arrayed  in  garments  of  multiple  hues."  The 
monolithic  Church,  though  it  may  be  the  dream  of  ecclesiastical 
bureaucrats,  cannot  be  the  ideal  of  a  Catholic  Church  which  claims 
to  be  the  living  body  of  Christ.  Adaptation,  while  safeguarding  es- 
sentials, is  of  the  essence  of  a  living  organism;  it  is  an  absolute 
must  for  Pope  John's  hope  of  spiritual  rejuvenation.  Without  it, 
the  Church  can  never  become  relevant  to  the  culture  in  which  she 
lives ;  she  defeats  a  priori  her  goal  of  consecratio  mundi,  the  trans- 
formation of  the  world.  Or,  to  apply  Pope  John's  homely  words, 
what  is  the  purpose  of  opening  windows  if  not  that  fresh  air  drive 
out,  replace,  the  stale,  so  that  persons  occupying  the  room  may  ac- 
complish better  work? 

A  major  conclusion  of  the  foregoing  is  that  the  bishop  is  never  so 
much  a  bishop,  or  the  ordained  priest  so  much  a  priest,  as  when, 
surrounded  by  his  people  and  together  with  them,  he  leads  them 
in  the  common  worship.  There  is  here  no  question  of  lessening  his 
authority  in  the  community ;  this  authority,  we  Catholics  hold,  de- 


rives  not  from  the  community,  by  delegation  of  the  community,  but 
from  God.  (It  was  chiefly  to  underscore  this  fact  that  the  term 
"monarchical  hierarchy"  became  customary.)  The  ordained  minister 
is  chosen  from  among  men  by  the  special  call  of  God  Himself,  and 
is  consecrated  by  the  power  of  God  to  exercise  his  ministry  with 
divinely  delegated  authority.  But  what  the  Council  and  the  Liturgy 
Constitution  stress,  in  a  manner  that  will  likely  seem  new  to  many 
Catholics  and  to  the  clergy  themselves,  but  which  in  fact  is  nothing 
else  than  a  biblical  orientation,  is  the  manner  of  exercising  that  au- 
thority. The  priesthood  of  the  ordained  clergy  is  a  ministerial  priest- 
hood, a  priesthood  of  loving  service,  a  priesthood  whose  chief  pur- 
pose it  is  that  the  entire  priestly  people  of  God  be  enabled  and 
assisted  to  carry  out  their  chief  task,  that  of  Eucharistic  worship. 
After  all,  it  was  on  the  occasion  of  the  Last  Supper  that  Christ 
Himself  said :  "I  came  not  to  be  ministered  unto,  but  to  minister." 
And  our  liturgy  of  Good  Friday  has  through  the  centuries  sung, 
"regnavit  a  ligno  Deus — God,  i.e.,  Christ,  reigned  from  the  cross." 
As  if  to  remind  us,  who  are  constantly  beset  by  the  primal  tempta- 
tion of  lust  for  power,  that  our  Lord,  Who  had  all  and  full  authority, 
exercised  it  in  the  highest  climactic  degree  when  as  Highpriest  He 
delivered  Himself  up  for  His  people  in  love  from  the  throne  of  His 

In  sum,  the  Liturgy  Constitution  and  the  forthcoming  document 
"De  Ecclesia,"  while  in  no  way  detracting  from  the  authoritative 
leadership  of  the  ordained  bishop  or  priest,  who  enacts  a  role  that 
is  necessary  and  unique  and  which  we  believe  to  be  of  Christ's  in- 
stitution, interpret  that  role  in  terms,  first  of  all,  of  service  and  love. 
If  authority  does  not  root  in  charity,  if  it  is  not  the  palpable  ex- 
pression of  charity,  then  that  authority  is  monstrous  and  radically 
unchristian.  Therefore  in  the  liturgy,  where  that  authority  of  the 
ordained  priest  finds  its  highest  role,  there  is  a  constant  dialogue 
between  minister  and  people.  In  fact,  as  Saint  John  Chrysostom 
remarked,  the  celebrant  by  saying,  "Gratias  agamus — let  us  give 
thanks  to  the  Lord  our  God,"  as  it  were  asks  permission  from  his 
people  to  advance  into  the  great  Eucharistic  prayer,  and  the  people 
give  him  leave  to  do  so  by  responding,  "Dignum  et  ittstitm  est — it  is 
meet  and  right." 

"Dialogue"  has  become  in  recent  years  almost  a  threadbare  word. 
And  yet  what  other  is  there  to  express  a  communing  in  understand- 
ing and  charity?  There  was  such  a  dialogue  between  Jesus  and  His 
heavenly  Father  when  Jesus  surrendered  Himself  in  obedience  to  the 
Father's  supreme  authority :  "Not  my  will  but  thine  be  done."    Only 


by  a  similar  dialogue,  based  on  Christian  faith  and  self-less  love, 
can  the  vexed  question  of  authority  versus  freedom  in  the  Church 
be  broached.  It  is  undoubtedly  true  that,  because  of  an  institutional 
emphasis  in  interpreting  the  nature  of  the  Church,  we  Catholics 
have  for  centuries  stressed  authority  at  the  expense  of  freedom,  at  the 
expense  of  the  Church's  prophetic  or  charismatic  nature.  And  I 
hope  you  will  not  accuse  me  of  unecumenical  bias  when  I  add  that 
Protestants  seem  not  to  have  avoided  the  contrary  emphasis  on  free- 
dom to  the  neglect  of  the  ministerial  authority.  Authority  and  free- 
dom— the  divinely  delegated  authority  which  in  God's  name  is 
entitled  to  and  must  demand  obedience  and,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
ineradicable  and  absolutely  essential  freedom  of  every  son  of  God — 
the  solution  of  this  paradox  constitutes  for  us  Catholics  today  our 
most  pressing  problem  and  will  entail  the  most  far-reaching  con- 
sequences in  our  polity  and  daily  Christian  life.  And,  if  I  am  not 
mistaken,  the  problem  of  authority  likewise  constitutes  the  most 
divisive  problem  in  Catholic-Protestant  ecumenical  relations.  Others, 
such  as  Mariology,  may  be  more  psychologically  and  devotionally 
(and  also  emotionally)  divisive.  But  the  Catholic  Church's  claim 
for  the  authority  of  her  hierarchy,  particularly  of  bishops  and  above 
all  of  the  Pope,  seems  to  preclude  any  reasonable  hope  of  ultimate 
mutual  understanding.  That  rock  which  was  Peter,  and  which  we 
Catholics  believe  to  be  the  living  successor  of  Peter,  on  which  Christ 
willed  to  build  His  Church,  instead  of  being  the  rock  assuring  unity 
has  tragically  become  the  rock  of  scandal  of  disunity  among  us. 

That  is  why,  it  seems  to  me,  the  re-thinking  that  is  going  on  in 
the  Council  in  regard  to  the  purpose  and  role  of  authority  in  the 
Catholic  Church,  in  less  exclusively  isolated  clerical  terms,  but  in 
the  fuller  context  of  the  entire  people  of  God,  gifted  with  His  free- 
dom of  sons,  is  of  highest  significance  not  only  for  us,  but  also  for 
ecumenical  hopes. 

I  suspect  that  many  of  you  in  this  audience  have  become  in- 
creasingly impatient  with  me  during  this  lecture,  wondering  when  I 
will  get  to  the  point  about  the  government  of  the  Church — to  the 
relation  between  the  supreme  jurisdiction  of  the  Pope  and  that  of  the 
collegiality  of  bishops,  to  the  "obstructive  machinations"  of  the 
Curia  about  which  the  Press  has  so  often  reported,  etc.  I  had, 
indeed,  first  thought  of  speaking  of  these  matters,  for  they  obviously 
constitute  a  crucially  significant  part  of  the  aggiornamento  of  the 
Church.  These  are  the  things  that  make  news,  that  seem  primary. 
Nor  do  I  have  any  intention  of  minimizing  their  importance.  How- 
ever, to  allay  any  suspicions  that  may  lurk  in  your  minds,  I  can 


assure  you  that  my  failure  to  treat  of  them  did  not  arise  from  coward- 
ice on  my  part  to  grapple  with  thorny  questions.  Rather,  unless  I 
have  completely  misunderstood  the  significance  of  Vatican  Council 
II,  the  determination  of  who  exercises  authority,  however  pertinent 
in  practice,  is,  in  view  of  the  self-reform  of  the  Catholic  Church  and 
her  relations  to  other  Christian  Churches — which  are  the  declared 
purposes  of  the  Council — more  or  less  irrelevant,  or  merely  academic, 
unless  the  Christ-willed  meaning  of  authority  and  the  how  of  its 
exercise  are  clearly  understood  and  accepted  and  realized  in  prac- 
tice. The  Church  is  a  mystery  of  love,  visibly  expressed  in  an  insti- 
tution of  service,  not  of  domination. 

In  order  to  achieve  this  understanding,  I,  for  one,  venture  to  ex- 
press the  hope  that  a  moratorium  might  be  placed  also  on  the  phrase 
"monarchical  hierarchy."  This  adjective  "monarchical,"  borrowed 
from  a  secular  frame  of  thought  and  polity,  can  at  best  be  analogously 
meaningful  when  applied  to  a  spiritual  reality  such  as  the  Church. 
I  am  not,  of  course,  denying  that  element  of  truth  which  the  ad- 
jective, rightly  understood,  conveys.  But  this,  it  seems  to  me,  is 
an  obvious  instance  in  which,  to  quote  Pope  John,  though  the 
essentials  of  truth  remain  ever  the  same,  its  mode  of  expression  must 
sometimes  undergo  change  in  the  interests  of  contemporary  and 
changing  intelligibility  and  connotations.  Christ's  Church  is,  in  the 
contemporary  connotations  of  those  words,  neither  monarchical 
nor  democratic.  In  fact,  of  the  two,  monarchical,  insofar  as  it 
evokes  thoughts  of  autocratic,  dictatorial  abuse  of  clerical  power,  may 
be  more  misleading  than  the  term  democratic.  The  image  (Oh, 
patient  word!)  that  we  have  managed  to  project  by  our  insistence 
on  monarchical  hierarchy  is,  in  fact,  a  serious  distortion  of  the 
biblical  and  Christian  meaning  of  Christ-like  and  Christ-rooted 
authority.  If  the  Council  succeeds,  in  consequential  prolongation 
and  expansion  of  the  new  stress  on  the  authority  of  ordained  priests 
and  bishops  as  a  ministerial  authority  rooted  in  love,  without  sacri- 
fice of  a  true  and  divinely  delegated  power  that  can  and  must  be 
met  with  willing  obedience,  presupposing  the  dialogue  of  spiritual 
father  and  sons  (such  as  the  Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy  al- 
ready embodies  and  the  document  "De  Ecclesia"  will  further  de- 
clare), perhaps  the  two  terms  of  the  paradox,  authority  and  free- 
dom, will  be  more  clearly  seen,  not  as  contradictory  and  mutually 
exclusive  but  as  complementary  and  mutually  enriching.  That 
such  may  indeed  occur,  I  humbly  ask  your  charitable  and  fraternal 

III.   The  Apostolate  of  the  Laity 

Godfrey  L.  Diekmann 

Several  widely  read  commentators  have  pin-pointed  the  signifi- 
cance of  Vatican  Council  II  as  the  Roman  Catholic  Church's  public 
and  official  determination  as  to  which  of  these  two  adjectives  is  to 
be  given  precedence  in  principle  and  practice:  Is  the  Church  more 
Roman  than  she  is  Catholic  ?  Or  is  Catholicity  to  be  more  operatively 
determinant  than  Romanita? 

Whatever  be  the  Tightness  of  this  evaluation  (and  it  obviously 
does  not  suffer  from  the  vice  of  complexity!),  it  seems  to  me  that 
there  is  a  second,  and  perhaps  even  more  permanently  significant, 
question  that  is  being  frankly  proposed,  and  is  at  present  in  the 
process  of  resolution  at  the  Council.  And  that  is  the  question :  Is  the 
Church  Catholic  or  is  it  Clerical  ?  In  other  words,  the  question  of  the 
role  of  the  laity  in  the  Church. 

The  outcome  of  the  first  question,  Catholicity  or  Romanita,  would 
seem  certain.  If,  despite  the  overwhelming  vote  in  favor  of  the  col- 
legiality  of  bishops  in  Session  II  of  the  Council  last  Fall,  there 
remained  any  lingering  doubt,  this  was  effectively  set  to  rest  by 
Pope  Paul's  opening  speech  to  the  third  session  in  mid-September. 
The  burden  of  that  address  was  his  urgent  hope  that  Vatican  Council 
II  would  complete  the  unfinished  business  of  Vatican  Council  I, 
by  declaring  the  supreme  ruling  power  of  all  the  bishops  of  the 
world  in  union  with,  and  under  the  headship  of,  the  Pope. 

The  second  question,  is  the  Church  clerical  or  catholic,  though 
it  is  still  under  discussion,  seems  from  all  ascertainable  reasonably 
reliable  indications  to  be  similarly  certain  of  a  forceful  judgment  in 
favor  of  catholicity.  This  would  mean,  in  concrete  language,  that  the 
layman's  rights  of  full,  responsible  citizenship  in  the  Church  are  to 
be  doctrinally  clarified,  and  recognized  and  utilized  in  practice.  Please 
note :  I  have  been  careful  to  enumerate  separately,  doctrinal  declara- 
tion and  implementation  in  fact.  Even  though  the  Council  is  certain 
to  urge  the  latter,  and  even  though  we  could  presuppose  optimum 
good  will  on  the  part  of  all  concerned,  the  process  of  this  readjust- 
ment in  the  policy  of  the  Church,  from  the  Curia  down  to  the  parish 
level,  is  probably  going  to  entail  painful  patience.  In  my  own  mind, 
I  compare  this  forthcoming  declaration  on  the  role  of  the  laity  in 
the   Church  to  the  decision  of  the   Supreme   Court  of  the  United 


States  on  desegregation.  Because  of  long-established  contrary  socio- 
logical patterns,  the  implementation  of  the  principle  established,  even 
if  carried  out  with  "due  deliberate  speed,"  of  necessity  requires  not 
only  time  but  the  kind  of  generous  charity  which  covers  a  multitude 
of  sins. 

One  of  the  most  illuminating  factors  in  the  Council's  discussion 
of  the  layman's  role  was  the  unexpectedly  severe  criticism  en- 
countered by  the  Schema  concerned,  entitled  "On  the  Apostolate  of 
the  Laity."  The  document  had  been  prepared  by  a  group  of  bishops 
and  priests  well  known  for  their  past  energetic  sponsoring  of  lay- 
men's rights.  Moreover,  they  had  been  actively  assisted  in  their  task 
by  several  laymen  internationally  prominent  in  the  Catholic  lay 
apostolate  movement.  And  yet,  by  an  astonishing  irony,  these  men, 
whose  chief  concern  had  been  to  assert  the  layman's  active  role 
in  the  Church  over  against  an  undue  and  centuries-old  clerical  pre- 
ponderance— these  men,  I  say,  heard  their  document  denounced  as 
excessively  "clerical." 

The  very  first  intervention,  by  Cardinal  Archbishop  Ritter  of 
St.  Louis,  firmly  sounded  this  theme.  He  called  the  document  too 
clerical,  too  patronizing,  too  prolix,  diffuse  and  abstract,  and  called 
for  its  thorough  revision.  His  speech  was  like  an  electric  shock, 
alerting  the  Council  Fathers  that  a  good  fight  was  in  the  offing.  As 
a  matter  of  fact,  however,  always  excepting  a  predictable  point  of 
view  espoused  particularly  by  some  Spanish  and  Italian  Bishops 
quite  innocent  in  their  experience  of  the  need  of  Christian  witness 
in  a  secularist  or  at  least  pluralist  world,  Cardinal  Ritter's  criticism 
was  not  only  echoed,  but  magnified  in  volume  and  intensity  by  the 
great  majority  of  speakers. 

Thus  Bishop  Charbonneau,  of  Hull,  Canada,  bluntly  called  on  the 
Council  "to  crush  once  and  for  all  that  error  which  is  the  source 
of  so  much  harm,  clericalism."  (Incidentally,  to  avoid  any  mis- 
understanding as  to  the  import  of  these  clerical  denunciations  of 
clericalism,  it  might  be  useful  here  to  quote  the  description  of 
clericalism  given  at  the  American  Press  Panel  on  the  first  afternoon 
of  the  great  debate:  Clericalism  was  there  described  as  "the  in- 
trusion of  the  clergy  in  areas  in  which  they  have  no  competence.") 
But  to  get  on  with  the  story.  According  to  Bishop  Charbonneau, 
the  apostolate  of  the  laity  is  not  merely  a  remedy  for  the  shortage 
of  priests.  The  laity  are  not  there  to  do  what  the  clergy  would  do 
if  they  could.  The  laity  have  a  specific  role  in  the  Church,  through 
their  baptism  and  their  place  as  adult  members  of  the  people  of 
God.    Just   as   Christ,   to   save  humanity,   became   incarnated   in   it, 


so,  too,  to  save  the  world,  the  Church  must  become  incarnate  in  it. 
One  cannot  collaborate  in  the  redemption  of  the  world  without 
becoming  incarnated  in  its  structures.  The  Church  must  make  her 
own  all  the  aspirations,  all  the  anxieties,  everything  of  the  world 
but  sin.  The  struggle  for  social  justice,  against  racism,  for  peace 
must  be  struggles  with  which  she  is  of  her  nature  identified.  And 
in  the  concrete  order,  such  identification  can  only  be  achieved 
through  the  activity  of  the  laity,  which  for  that  reason  can  and  must 
be  called  an  apostolic  activity. 

Archbishop  D'Souza,  of  Bhopal,  India,  drew  further  practical 
conclusions  if  the  Council  was  to  take  seriously  the  active  role  of  the 
laity  in  the  Church.  Why  should  the  Church  (he  asked)  be  always 
and  solely  represented  by  priests  at  international  gatherings?  Why 
should  not  competent  laymen  be  employed  in  many  offices  of  the 
Roman  Curia  and  the  papal  diplomatic  service,  thus  freeing  the 
priests  for  their  more  specifically  priestly  and  ministerial  tasks? 
Why  should  not  laymen  even  be  appointed  as  Apostolic  Nuncios  or 
Apostolic  Delegates? 

"Let  us  beware  of  too  much  prudence  (he  said).  If  it  leads  to 
immobilism,  it  is  worse  than  foolhardiness.  All  our  talk  will  be  in 
vain  unless  there  is  a  radical  re-organization  of  all  levels  of  the 
Church.  Nothing  must  be  done  against  the  bishop's  commands  or  pre- 
scinding from  them.  But  this  does  not  mean  that  nothing  should  or 
need  be  done  unless  it  comes  from  the  initiative  of  the  bishop  and 
is  according  to  his  wishes,  nothing  unless  it  is  explicitly  commanded 
or  approved  by  the  bishop.  .  .  .  Brothers  (he  asked,  addressing 
the  assembled  bishops  directly),  are  we,  the  Catholic  clergy,  truly 
prepared  to  abdicate  clericalism  completely?  Are  we  prepared  to 
consider  the  laity  as  brothers  in  the  Lord,  equal  to  ourselves  in 
dignity  in  the  mystical  body,  if  not  in  office?  Are  we  prepared  no 
longer  to  usurp,  as  we  formerly  did,  the  responsibilities  which 
properly  belong  to  them,  or  rather — if  I  may  express  this  a  bit  more 
discreetly — are  we  prepared  to  leave  to  them  what  is  more  pertinent 
to  them,  such  as  the  fields  of  education,  social  service,  administra- 
tion of  temporal  goods,  and  the  like?  (And  he  might  well  have 
added :  communications.  For  it  is  now  generally  conceded  that 
the  lamentably  unsatisfactory  character  of  the  Schema  on  Com- 
munications, promulgated  by  the  Council  last  September,  was  due 
not  least  of  all  because  its  authors  did  not  include  laymen,  who 
would  have  been  specially  competent  in  this  field.)  "Let  us  not 
forget  (the  Archbishop  continued)  that  the  people  of  God  are  not 
a  totalitarian  state  in  which  everything  is  governed  from  on  High. 


Where  is  the  liberty  of  the  sons  of  God?  .  .  .  There  is  no  hope  for 
the  apostolate  of  the  laity  if  they  are  always  to  remain  under  the 
thumb  of  clerics.  There  will  be  mistakes  and  difficulties,  but  one 
of  the  facts  of  life  is  that  there  is  no  growth  without  crisis.  The 
Schema  opens  up  a  new  era  and  a  new  spirit." 

This  speech,  obviously,  was  strong  meat.  And  very  many  of 
those  present  would  doubtless  have  wished  for  a  blander  sauce  to 
accompany  its  presentation.  And  yet  it  is  indicative  of  the  tenor 
of  the  Council  that  the  speech  was  given  the  rare  tribute  of  a 
round  of  applause. 

Another  intervention  which  met  with  a  similar  tribute  was  that  of 
Auxiliary  Bishop  Leven  of  San  Antonio,  Texas:  "The  Schema  should 
more  plainly  and  forcefully  state  that  the  apostolate  of  the  laity  is  of  the 
essential  nature  of  the  Church.  The  apostolate  is  not  conceded  or 
mandated  to  the  laity  by  the  bishop  or  the  pastor,  but  is  the  working 
out  in  practice  of  the  gifts  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  It  is  the  duty  of  those 
who  receive  the  charismata  of  authority  and  administration  to 
moderate  and  guide  the  apostolate  of  the  laity,  but  they  may  not 
suppress  it.  .  .  .  The  Schema  should  emphasize  more  the  necessity 
of  a  real  and  meaningful  dialogue  between  the  bishop  and  the  pastor 
and  the  laity.  .  .  .  There  is  no  dialogue  if  the  laity  are  only  invited 
to  listen.  Nor  is  there  dialogue  if  the  bishop  listens  only  to  indi- 
viduals, such  as  his  doctor  or  his  housekeeper,  rather  than  to 
truly  representative  laymen  and  laywomen."  And  his  concluding  plea 
was :  "Our  laity  look  to  us  for  acceptance  as  full  and  mature  mem- 
bers in  the  body  of  Christ.  They  ask  only  to  be  allowed  to  exer- 
cise the  charismata  the  Holy  Spirit  has  given  them." 

A  final  quotation  from  the  Council  floor  may  be  permitted,  since 
it  was  voiced  by  Archbishop  Heenan  of  Westminster  in  the  name 
of  the  hierarchy  of  England  and  Wales,  which  had  the  reputation 
(whether  deserved  or  no,  I  am  not  competent  to  judge)  of  being 
among  the  most  conservative  of  the  episcopal  blocs.  Speaking  of  a 
proposed  "Secretariat  for  the  Lay  Apostolate"  to  be  set  up  in  Rome, 
Archbishop  Heenan  said :  "This  is  something  which  is  bound  to 
fail  unless  the  laity  are  fully  consulted.  ...  It  would  be  a  disaster 
to  model  it  after  any  of  the  departments  already  existing  in  the 
Roman  Curia.  Most  of  the  members  of  this  (proposed)  secretariat 
must  be  chosen  from  the  laity.  Let  me  stress  that  the  faithful  take 
it  badly  if  decisions  over  matters  in  which  they  are  well  versed 
are  taken  without  any  advice  being  asked  from  them.  Before  setting 
up   the   secretariat   it   is   important,   therefore,   to   inquire   from   the 


laity  themselves  how  they  think  it  should  be  set  up  and  how  it  ought 
to  be  run." 

Summarizing  the  mind  of  the  obvious  majority  in  regard  to  the 
Schema  on  the  lay  apostolate,  Archbishop  McCann  of  Capetown, 
declared  :  "The  laity  have  been  expecting  a  Magna  Carta,  and  they  did 
not  get  it."  But  in  view  of  the  tenor  of  the  criticism,  I  think  we  can 
confidently  expect  that  they  will  get  it  in  the  draft  to  be  revised. 
Nor  should  the  bedeviled  authors  of  the  criticized  draft  be  judged 
too  harshly.  The  Schema  as  proposed  to  the  Council  had  been, 
under  orders,  shorn  of  its  doctrinal  and  more  spiritually  inspiring 
introduction  and  foundation — which  latter  became  the  universally 
praised  Chapter  4  of  the  truly  excellent  Schema  "De  Ecclesia." 
So  what  was  left  over  was  bound  to  be  rather  juridic  and  unin- 
spiringly  pedestrian,  because  there  had  been  no  time  to  re-cast  it 
after  it  had  been  thus  decapitated. 

So  it  is  to  Chapter  4  of  the  Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  that  one  must 
turn  for  a  more  satisfactory  statement  on  the  laity,  one  which 
has  already  in  its  general  contents  been  approved  if  not  yet  promul- 
gated. And  this  Chapter  is  without  question  the  doctrinal  Magna 
Carta  of  the  layman  and  his  role  in  the  Church. 

Historians  differ  in  detail  about  the  reasons  why  the  Church 
and  her  most  important  activity  came  in  the  course  of  time  to  be 
identified  more  or  less  with  the  hierarchy  or  clergy,  while  a  purely 
receptive  if  not  passive  role  was  assigned  to  the  laity.  There  is 
general  agreement,  however,  that  this  coincided  and  was  causally 
related  to  the  so-called  triumph  of  Christianity  under  Constantine, 
and  the  civic  honors  and  responsibilities  heaped  upon  the  bishops  by 
that  curiously  Christian  emperor.  In  other  words,  perhaps  the  Coun- 
cil will  have  historical  import,  not  only  because  it  marks  the  end 
of  the  post-counter-Reformation  era,  but  even  more  fundamentally 
because  it  is  deliberately  rejecting  the  post-Constantinian  ecclesi- 
astical polity.  Be  that  as  it  may,  it  should  be  pointed  out  that 
Constantine's  (and  later  Justinian's)  civic  exaltation  of  the  hierarchy 
might  not  have  been  so  lasting  and  convincing  had  it  not  soon 
received  a  theological  underpinning  or  sanction. 

This  was  furnished  by  the  Arian  controversy  of  the  fourth 
century  and  its  aftermath.  In  reaction  to  the  heresy  which  denied 
that  Christ  was  God,  orthodox  Christianity  so  stressed  Jesus' 
divinity,  His  transcendence,  that  His  mediatorial  role  as  God-man 
was  no  longer  seen  in  proper  perspective.  To  oversimplify  for  the 
sake  of  brevity:  Christ  was,  as  it  were,  taken  back  into  the  Trinity 
as  God  to  be  adored,  and  the  significance  of  His  infleshing  by  which 


He  became  our  elder  brother,  the  first-born  of  many  brethren  lead- 
ing us  back  to  the  Father,  was  theologically  obscured.  The  Eucha- 
ristic  service  itself,  the  Mass  or  Lord's  Supper,  was  no  longer  under- 
stood as  the  action  of  Christ  our  elder  brother  uniting  us  in  wor- 
ship to  the  Father;  but  it  became  the  miracle  of  divine  change,  of 
Christ  descending,  as  it  were,  from  His  divine  throne  to  the  earthly 
altar  and  effecting  this  miracle  through  His  priests.  These  latter, 
then,  became  the  uniquely  privileged  class,  they  alone  were  com- 
petent— and  necessary.  There  developed  a  clericalized  liturgy,  which 
soon  led  to  a  clericalized  sociology.  The  Mass  was  not  recognized 
as  the  action  of  the  entire  holy  people  of  God  with  and  through  the 
leadership  of  a  ministerial  priesthood,  but  the  sole  preserve  of  the 
latter.  The  sanctuary  became  the  Holy  of  Holies,  to  which  only 
the  highpriest,  the  ordained  minister,  had  access.  The  laos,  the  royal 
priestly  race,  became  the  "laity"  in  the  sense  of  the  non-professional, 
the  second-class,  unknowing  citizenry,  who  play  only  a  passive 
receptive  role. 

In  a  word,  because  the  role  of  the  Eucharistic  body  of  Christ 
was  so  imperfectly  understood,  the  concept  of  the  Church  as  a 
mystical  body  also  suffered  tragic  diminution.  Obviously,  the  re- 
tention of  Latin  as  a  sacral  tongue  was  a  contributing  factor ;  but  I 
think  it  is  correct  to  state  that  it  was  retained  and  the  Eucharistic 
prayer,  to  which,  as  Saint  Justin  proudly  declares,  all  the  people 
should  respond  their  Amen,  became  a  silent  prayer,  precisely  be- 
cause it  was  taken  for  granted  that  these  mysteries  are  not  for  the 
laity.  To  keep  them  piously  occupied,  statues  and  stained  glass  and 
the  pictorial  bible  of  the  poor,  plus  quite  fanciful  allegoric  interpre- 
tations of  the  Mass,  were  proposed  for  their  meditation,  and  pro- 
liferated. There  were  also  other  consequences,  whose  fruits  are 
still  with  us.  Because  Christ's  divinity,  His  divine  transcendence, 
was  so  stressed,  man  could  in  worship  confront  Him  only  as  a 
miserable  sinner :  the  resurrection-joy  of  redemption,  the  glad  con- 
sciousness of  being,  through  Christ,  a  holy  people  (i.e.,  the  resur- 
rection emphasis)  was  replaced  by  a  sin-consciousness  that  found 
expression  in  the  multiple  confessions  or  sin  declarations  in  the 
medieval  liturgy,  and  which  (is  it  unreasonable  to  believe?)  played 
its  role  also  in  the  inherited  theology  of  the  sixteenth-century  re- 

Since,  therefore,  it  had  been  a  theological  imbalance  finding  its 
visible  expression  most  significantly  in  liturgical  practice,  which  had 
assured  both  acceptance  and  permanence  to  an  ecclesiology  become 
hierarchology,  it  was  fitting  and  even  necessary  that  the  balance  be 


restored  by  clarifying,  first  of  all,  the  laity's  rightful  role  in  the 
liturgical  action.  This,  too,  was  the  Liturgy  Constitution's  contribu- 
tion to  the  ecclesiology  that  is  in  process  of  formulation  by  the  Coun- 
cil. Because  the  liturgy,  and  especially  the  Eucharist,  is  the  chief 
activity  of  the  entire  Ecclesia,  unless  the  layman  has  a  part  to  play  in 
the  Eucharistic  action,  a  part  that  is  proper  to  him,  that  is  his  by 
inalienable  right  and  not  merely  by  sufferance  or  delegated  privilege, 
the  role  of  the  laity  in  the  Church  will  be  lacking  of  its  most  important 

We  have  already  seen  how  the  Liturgy  Constitution  insists  that 
every  liturgical  action,  including  the  Eucharist,  is  the  action  of  Christ 
and  the  whole  Church  and  not  merely  of  the  ordained  minister 
representing  the  Church.  Active  participation  of  the  laity  is  demanded 
by  the  very  nature  of  the  liturgy.  The  laity  have  a  role  to  play  which 
is  properly  and  uniquely  their  own. 

Hence  the  early  historical  principle  of  the  so-called  "distribution 
of  roles"  in  the  Eucharistic  action,  which  found  classic  expression  in 
the  declaration  of  Clement's  First  Letter  to  the  Corinthians  at  the 
turn  of  the  first  century,  was  formulated  anew  as  a  binding  law  by 
Article  28  of  the  Liturgy  Constitution :  "In  liturgical  celebrations, 
each  person,  minister  or  layman,  who  has  an  office  to  perform,  should 
do  all  of,  but  only,  those  parts  which  pertain  to  his  office  by  the  nature 
of  the  rite  and  the  principles  of  the  liturgy." 

The  layman's  distinctive  and  proper  role  in  the  most  important 
apostolate  of  the  Church  has  therefore  been  emphatically  restored  to 
him.  And  both  the  Liturgy  Constitution  and  the  subsequent  Chapter 
4  of  the  Schema  "De  Ecclesia,"  which  deals  with  the  laity  and  which 
was  significantly  inspired  by  the  Liturgy  Constitution,  stress  the 
biblical  and  theological  basis  of  this  restoration :  the  royal  priesthood 
of  all  members  of  the  Church,  conferred  on  them  by  God's  mercy  in 
the  sacrament  of  baptism,  completed  and  perfected  in  the  sacrament  of 
confirmation,  and  finding  its  highest  fulfillment  in  the  Eucharistic 
action.  A  theology  of  the  lay  state,  as  an  integral  and  essential  com- 
ponent of  ecclesiology,  is  in  the  process  of  rapid  evolution  in  the 
Catholic  Church. 

Personally,  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  this  will,  indeed,  be  re- 
corded by  historians  of  the  future  as  the  chief  significance  of  the 
Council  now  in  progress.  The  question  of  the  collegiality  of  bishops 
vis-a-vis  the  Holy  See,  however  weighty,  seems  to  me  of  secondary 
import  to  that  principle  of  collegiality  as  implemented  on  the  diocesan 
and  parish  level,  and  as  involving  the  active  rights  of  the  laymen  based 
on  their  dignity  as  the  royal  priesthood  and  as  members  of  the  wor- 


shipping  people  of  God.  Vatican  Council  I  was  the  Council  that  de- 
fined the  role  of  the  papacy;  Vatican  Council  II  is  the  Council  in 
which  the  Catholic  Church  is  becoming  more  truly  aware  of  her 
charismatic  role  as  the  people  of  God,  whose  hierarchy,  bishops  and 
priests,  fulfill  their  diaconia  to  the  laity,  their  ministry  of  service  based 
in  love,  first  of  all  and  most  importantly  in  the  Eucharistic  action 
which  is  their  common  and  highest  service  to  God. 

Vatican  Council  II  is,  in  fact,  the  first  Council  in  history  that  has 
explicitly  concerned  itself  with  formulating  a  theology  of  the  lay  state. 
It  now  seems  incredible  to  us  that  in  one  of  the  great  theological 
dictionaries  in  current  use,  the  entry  under  "laity"  simply  states : 
"cf.  clergy,"  as  if  the  sum  total  that  could  be  said  of  a  layman  was  that 
he  was  a  non-cleric.  Chapter  4  of  "De  Ecclesia"  by  contrast  states : 
"By  the  title  of  layman  are  understood  all  the  faithful  who,  not  or- 
dained in  sacred  orders  or  belonging  to  the  religious  state,  are  by 
baptism  incorporated  into  Christ,  constituted  members  of  the  people 
of  God,  and,  having  become  sharers  in  the  priestly,  prophetic  and 
royal  office  of  Christ,  fulfill  according  to  their  capacity  the  mission 
of  the  whole  Christian  people  in  the  Church  and  in  the  world."  The 
apostolate  is  not  something  adventitious  or  peripheral.  It  is  not  a 
part-time  assignment  to  be  undertaken  by  the  more  fervent.  Rather, 
it  is  the  totality  of  their  Christian  life  and  witnessing,  the  outward 
expression  of  their  sacramental  consecration  by  baptism,  and  their 
definitive  commitment  to  Christ,  to  the  Christian  community  and  to 
the  world  renewed  by  every  Eucharist.  Their  apostolate  is  not  pri- 
marily a  sharing  in  the  apostolate  of  the  hierarchy,  as  it  has  been 
defined  until  very  recent  times;  the  Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  quietly 
corrects  this  still  partial  and,  frankly,  clerical  view  of  the  lay  apos- 
tolate, by  stating  that  the  latter  is  a  necessary  sharing  in  the  mission  or 
apostolate  of  the  Church.  And  none  of  the  criticisms  of  the  Fathers 
of  the  Council  which  I  cited  earlier,  and  which  were  directed  against 
the  truncated  Schema  "On  the  Apostolate  of  the  Laity,"  which  in  its 
proposed  form  had  been  rejected  by  the  Council,  hold  good  or  could 
be  fairly  voiced  against  this  more  developed  and  deliberate  effort  in  the 
Schema  "De  Ecclesia"  to  present  a  theology  of  the  lay  state  and  the 
lay  apostolate. 

And  it  is  this  Schema  "De  Ecclesia,"  with  its  superb  Chapters  2 
"On  the  People  of  God"  and  4  "On  the  Laity,"  which  has  been  sub- 
stantially approved  by  the  Council  of  Fathers  and  will  most  probably 
be  promulgated  at  the  conclusion  of  the  present  session  of  the  Coun- 
cil. In  a  word,  the  bishops  of  the  Catholic  Church  in  Vatican  Council 
II   by  an   overwhelming  majority  have   vigorously  championed  the 


rights  and  the  essential  role  of  the  layman  in  the  Church,  and  it  is 
the  ranking  clerics  of  the  Church  who  will  officially  declare  and  spell 
out  the  implications  of  the  fact  that  the  Church  is  catholic  and  not 
merely  clerical. 

Thereby  one  of  the  chief  hopes  of  Pope  John  in  convoking  the 
Council  will  be  fulfilled.  For  on  Pentecost  Day,  1960,  Pope  John 
stated  that  over  the  spiritual  portals  of  Vatican  Council  II  should  be 
engraved  this  text  from  Ephesians  4  as  its  motto :  "Speaking  the  truth 
in  love,  we  are  to  grow  up  in  every  way  into  Him  who  is  the  head, 
into  Christ,  from  whom  the  whole  body,  joined  and  knit  together  by 
every  joint  with  which  it  is  supplied,  when  each  part  is  working 
properly,  makes  bodily  growth  and  upbuilds  itself  in  love." 

IV.   A  Protestant  Report 

Robert  E.  Cushman 

/.    The  Scene  and  the  Spirit  of  the  Third  Session 

On  a  morning  in  early  October,  1964,  I  departed  for  St.  Peter's 
earlier  than  usual.  The  clattery  old  bell  of  the  Castle  of  Sant'  Angelo 
rang  eight  o'clock  as  I  passed  along  Piazza  Adriana  and  under  the  arch 
of  the  medieval  wall  that  still  connects  the  papal  apartments  of  the 
Vatican  with  the  ancient  fortress.  Down  the  Via  dei  Corridori  I  went, 
past  the  offices  of  the  Secretariat  for  the  Promotion  of  Christian 
Unity  to  the  southern  arc  of  the  Bernini  colonnade  and  the  entrance. 
My  Vatican  passport,  bearing  the  signature  of  Augustine  Cardinal 
Bea,  was  recognized  by  the  guard  with  a  friendly  nod,  and  I  pro- 
ceeded along  the  circular  way  among  the  towering  columns  of 
Bernini's  porch,  past  the  Bronze  Door  of  the  papal  palace  and  into 
the  vast  expanse  of  St.  Peter's  square.  I  noted  that,  in  the  interim 
between  the  second  and  the  third  sessions  of  the  Council  (cf.  The 
Duke  Divinity  School  Review,  Winter  1964,  pp.  3-19),  neither 
the  statues  of  St.  Paul  nor  St.  Peter  had  suffered  change.  St.  Paul 
had  not  lost  his  sword,  and  St.  Peter  still  firmly  grasped  the  keys. 

My  intentions  that  morning  prior  to  the  convening  of  the  Council 
were  avowedly  photographic.  Chartered  buses,  cars,  and  taxis  were 
beginning  to  disgorge  their  load  of  episcopal  and  clerical  splendor. 
In  pairs,  in  groups,  sometimes  in  great  waves  of  purple,  the  fathers 
of  the  Council — bishops,  periti,  and  now  and  then  a  cardinal — mounted 
the  gradual  incline  toward  the  gaping  portals  of  St.  Peter's  facade. 
Moving  with  the  throng,  I  clicked  my  camera  at  will.  Pausing  at  the 
top  against  the  massive  front  of  the  basilica  I  introduced  myself  to  a 
solitary  bishop  who,  like  myself,  had  stopped  to  watch  the  on-coming 
host.  He  turned  out  to  be  a  sort  of  summer  neighbor  of  mine. 
He  was  Joseph  Berry,  Archbishop  of  Halifax.  An  African  bishop 
approached.  I  raised  my  camera  threateningly.  Good  naturedly  he 
protested :  "I'm  not  photogenic !"  He  stopped.  We  laughed.  He 
was  photogenic,  and  I  caught  him  neatly,  wide  mouth  laugh  and  all ! 

Now  appeared  Dr.  Lukas  Vischer  of  the  World  Council  with  his 
camera  and  with  intent  like  mine.  Then  there  was  William  Norgren 
of  the  National  Council  of  Churches.  Shortly  appeared  my  friend 
Father  Vincent  Yzermans  of  National  Catholic  Welfare  Council 
Information   Service    (cf.   The  Duke  Divinity   School  Review, 


Winter  1964,  pp.  20-26).  He  was  accompanied  by  Bishop  Francis 
Schenk  of  Duluth,  with  whom  I  had  made  acquaintance  at  the  second 
session.  Then  appeared  a  friendly  neighbor,  Abbot  Walter  Groggin, 
O.S.B.,  of  Belmont  Abbey,  Gastonia. 

I  recount  these  things  to  convey  to  you  something  of  the  human  side 
of  the  Second  Vatican  Council.  A  momentous  event  it  is  in  modern 
Church  history,  but  it  is  made  up  of  people.  The  majestic  and  august 
solemnity  of  the  setting,  the  ceremony,  and  the  splendid  ecclesiastical 
attire  of  abbots,  bishops,  patriarchs,  and  cardinals  easily  disguise  the 
common  humanity  that,  in  most  cases,  is  just  below  the  colorful 
surface  and  will  often  disclose  itself  spontaneously.  It  will  do  so 
in  the  jostling  jocularity  of  the  coffee  bars  or  in  the  casual  renewal 
of  acquaintance  with  periti  or  bishops  in  the  side  aisles  of  the  basilica. 
There  is  Father  Placid  Jordan,  O.S.B.,  I  met  last  year,  or  there  is 
Bishop  Leo  Dworschak  of  Fargo,  or  Bishop  Hock  or  Bishop  Buswell 
of  Colorado.  And  you  may  even  see  Father  Godfrey  Diekmann  of 
Collegeville,  Minnesota,  taking  a  "breather"  from  translation  on 
behalf  of  auditor  Mary  Mother  Luke,  conversing  now  with  a  col- 
league under  the  great  dome  beside  the  towering  papal  baldaquino. 

And  on  the  human  as  well  as  on  the  ecumenical  side,  I  wish  you 
could  have  been  at  dinner  one  evening  in  Rome  with  a  group  of  Ameri- 
can bishops  and  observers  at  the  Embassy  Restaurant  on  Via  Silicia. 
It  is  impossible  to  convey  in  the  time  allotted  the  enlarging  sense  of 
openness  and  fellowship  mutually  shared  in  informal  conversation, 
the  consciousness  of  aims  and  ends  in  common,  the  tacit  mutual  ac- 
knowledgment of  the  Tightness  of  rapprochement  between  Chris- 
tians, and  the  maturing  sense  of  mutual  acceptance  without  nicety 
or  strain.  I  wish  you  could  have  heard  irrepressible  Bishop  Stephen 
Leven  of  San  Antonio,  master  of  ceremonies,  the  responses  of  the 
several  observers,  and  the  fervent  evangelical  exhortation  of  Bishop 
Floyd  Begin  of  Oakland,  California.  He  is  chairman  of  the  Ameri- 
can bishops'  committee  on  ecumenics  and  was  chief  host  that  evening. 
He  grounded  ecumenical  fellowship  upon  the  Johannine  teaching, 
the  new  commandment,  "that  ye  love  one  another."  However 
tedious,  perplexed  and  prolonged  the  way  to  Christian  unity,  he  testi- 
fied, the  way  will  be  illuminated  and  made  plain  only  by  Christian 
agape.  What  is  membership  in  the  Church,  he  said,  remains  an  un- 
certainty even  for  this  Council ;  but  he  implied  clearly  that  its  basic 
criterion  is  love  of  the  brethren  as  the  surest  indication  of  the  love 
of  God.  That  speech  will  not  be  recorded  in  the  documents  of  the 
Council;  the  sentiment  may  find  only  muted  representation  there. 
But  it  is  worth  recording  here  because  it  is  indicative  of  the  wind 


of  the  Spirit  which  is  "blowing  where  it  listeth"  and  inspiring  and 
animating  a  new  impulse  within  the  Roman  Catholic  communion. 

While,  doubtless,  it  would  be  simple-minded  to  suppose  that  so 
authentic  a  Christian  understanding  as  that  sketched  by  Bishop  Begin 
is  safely  representative  of  the  mind  of  the  Catholic  episcopate  as  a 
whole,  it  would  be  perilously  dishonest  not  to  acknowledge  in  this 
viewpoint  another  sign  of  enlarging  ecumenical  concern  among  the 
hierarchy  that  was  influentially  nurtured  by  John  XXIII  and  has 
been  continued  by  his  successor.  This  aspiration  toward  emanci- 
pated fellowship  among  Christians,  quite  apart  from  the  intricate 
doctrinal  questions  of  unity,  is  finding  increasing  response  on  the 
part  of  large  numbers  of  the  episcopate  as  it  was  also  powerfully  re- 
affirmed in  Paul  VI's  recent  encyclical,  Ecclesiam  Suam,  and  in  his 
opening  address  to  the  third  session  of  the  II  Vatican  Council  in 
September  this  year.    (See  Appendix,  p.  75.) 

I  believe  it  is  my  duty  as  well  as  my  privilege  as  a  Protestant  ob- 
server to  the  Vatican  Council  to  notify  you  that  the  winds  of  a  new 
ecumenical  spirit  are  seemingly  gathering  force  in  the  Catholic 
Church.  I  regard  it  as  a  responsibility  to  appraise  you  of  this  and 
to  suggest  that  it  confronts  you  as  a  new  fact  in  the  church  history 
of  our  era.  If  it  is  so,  it  constitutes  an  emergent  powerful  impulse 
in  the  ecumenical  movement  of  our  time.  If  this  emergent  force 
prospers  and  links  itself,  however  tenuously,  with  the  ecumenical 
thrust  of  the  past  forty  years  that  flowered  in  the  World  Council 
of  Churches,  it  could  in  a  century,  perhaps  in  a  generation,  greatly 
alter  the  shape  of  world  Christianity. 

But  let  me  add  this  word  about  the  ecumenical  ferment  of  the 
Catholic  Church.  It  is  nascent.  It  is  recent,  and  I  venture  to  suggest 
that  its  full  import  and  the  strength  of  it  cannot  be  adequately  as- 
certained or  properly  appraised  simply  by  a  close  reading  and  study 
of  the  conciliar  documents,  forward  looking  as  they  are,  that  will 
issue  from  this  Council.  Progressive  and  reforming  as  are  the  declara- 
tion of  the  Council  on  the  Church,  ecumenism,  and  religious  liberty, 
they,  nevertheless,  do  not  and  cannot  embody  or  convey  the  en- 
livened spirit,  the  "new  wine,"  which,  I  believe,  is  presently  bursting 
"old  wineskins"  and  seeking  new  avenues  and  forms  of  expression 
or  better,  to  mix  the  figure,  more  suitable  vehicles  of  its  purpose 
and  efficacy.  In  particular,  and  apropos  this  point,  attention  should 
fasten  upon  those  sentences  of  the  schema  "On  Ecumenism"  which 
stress  the  look  toward  an  open  future  as  directed  by  the  leadings  of 
the  Holy  Spirit. 

It  is  necessary,  therefore,  in  studying  the  ecumenical  pronounce- 


ments  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council,  to  remember  that  positions  taken 
reflect  the  necessity  of  adjusting  the  aspirations  of  an  unfolding  vision 
to  the  tenacious,  safe,  and  even  seductive  traditionalism  of  the  past. 
For  what  you  have  in  the  conciliar  decrees  reflects,  but  does  not  wholly 
embody,  the  growing  edges  of  a  nascent  spirit  and  an  emerging 
mentality.  It  was  loosed  by  John  XXIII,  but  it  emerges  encumbered 
by  the  resistance  and  lag  of  centuries  and  the  wholly  human  fear  of 

It  is  no  news  that  the  movements  of  the  Divine  Spirit  are  always 
encountering  the  resistance  of  the  flesh.  John  Wesley  and  Franqois 
Fenelon  alike  agree,  and  doubtless  against  Calvin,  that  resistance 
to  the  Spirit  of  God  is  always  man's  possible  course.  Moreover, 
Protestant  theology  always  has  taken  seriously  the  Pauline  warning, 
applying  it  alike  to  the  individual  and  to  the  Church :  "But  we  have 
this  treasure  in  earthen  vessels."  The  "earthen  vessel"  can  obstruct 
and  stultify  the  operations  of  the  Spirit.  It  can  delay  and  frustrate 
the  divine  purpose.  If  I  may  be  indulged  the  reference,  the  secure 
power  of  the  Petrine  "keys"  can  obstruct  and  counter  the  thrust  of  the 
Pauline  sword  of  the  Spirit. 

But  while  we  take  these  things  into  account,  I  think  I  would  be 
an  unfaithful  Protestant  reporter  on  Vatican  II  if  I  did  not  voice  the 
considered  judgment  that  the  Holy  Spirit  is  at  large  today  in  the 
Catholic  Church,  and  that  the  Spirit  is  one  of  renewal  and  almost  of 
revolution.  In  Pauline  language,  I  think  I  see  it  as  a  struggle  between 
the  "letter  that  kills"  and  the  "Spirit  that  makes  alive."  Also,  I  be- 
lieve I  see  signs  that  the  Spirit  is  in  process  of  transforming  the 
"letter"  and  may  yet  profoundly  reshape  the  "earthen  vessel."  I 
know  that  many  Catholics  do  not  ordinarily  regard  the  Church  as  an 
"earthen  vessel ;"  but,  if  this  reshaping  occurs,  then  I  perceive  a  time 
not  far  off,  perhaps  rather  sooner  than  later,  when  Protestant  Chris- 
tianity will  be  forced,  in  a  measure  and  magnitude  well  beyond  present 
contemplation,  to  undertake  a  radically  new  assessment  of  its  tra- 
ditional form  and  manner  of  expressing  the  Christian  faith  in  wor- 
ship, in  life,  and  in  work. 

II.   The  Papal  Line 

Although  I  have  registered  these  rather  positive  general  im- 
pressions regarding  the  spirit  and  thrust  of  the  third  session  of  the 
Second  Vatican  Council,  it  would  be  foolhardy  to  suggest  that  the 
way  is  now  safely  cleared  for  the  renewal  and  assured  up-dating  of 
the  Catholic  Church.  The  crucial  document  of  the  Council,  that  on 
the  Church  and  the  episcopate,  has  been  overwhelmingly  approved  in 


principle.  But  while  I  was  writing  these  words  in  Rome  in  October 
it  was  rumored  that  one  Italian  bishop  had  circulated  among  the  Coun- 
cil fathers  a  full  scale  refutation,  in  several  languages,  of  the  Schema 
on  the  Church  with  extensive  rebuttal  of  the  pivotal  third  chapter 
dealing  with  the  episcopal  college.  In  the  process  of  thirty-nine 
ballots  treating  the  several  sections  of  the  schema  and  involving  ap- 
proximately 2200  votes  per  ballot,  a  hard  core  of  resistance  registered 
itself  in  number  varying  from  50  to  300.  In  general,  but  not  ex- 
clusively, resistance  centered  in  the  southern  European,  specifically, 
the  Italian,  Spanish,  and  Portuguese  episcopates.  This  has  been  the 
case  from  the  beginning  of  the  Council. 

The  Italian  episcopate  is,  as  I  perceive  it,  frantically  opposed  to 
losing  the  absolute  hegemony  of  Rome  and  the  Roman  Curia  over 
world  Catholicism.  Nevertheless,  save  for  outspoken  assaults  upon 
the  declaration  on  religious  liberty,  the  reactionary  conservatives  of  the 
Curia  and  the  Italian  episcopate  have  been  either  notably  silent  or 
moderate  in  public  interventions  in  the  Council  during  the  third 
session.  In  explanation,  one  surmises  that  a  combination  of  factors 
have  assisted  Paul  VI  in  gaining  a  surer  command  upon  the  ec- 
clesiastical household  both  of  the  Curia  and  the  Italian  episcopate  than 
he  was  in  fact  assured  of  in  the  closing  weeks  of  the  second  session 
of  1963.1 

As  for  the  Council  procedure  and  operation  in  the  third  session, 
it  was  plainer  this  time,  I  believe,  that  the  praesidium  of  the  modera- 
tors was  far  better  organized  for  the  expeditious  prosecution  of 
business  than  was  the  case  during  the  second  session.  It  did  not 
have,  however,  the  full  cooperation  of  the  General  Secretariat  of  the 

1.  Varying  interpretations  will  be  and  have  been  placed  upon  the  crisis  that 
erupted  in  the  Council,  November  19,  1964,  and  the  Pope's  part  in  it.  The 
Pope's  failure  to  honor  the  petition  of  a  thousand  Council  fathers  to  overrule 
the  announcement  of  Cardinal  President  Tisserant  blocking  a  vote  on  re- 
ligious liberty  raises  serious  questions  about  his  ability  to  sustain  independence 
of  conservative  Italian  ecclesiastical  and  political  forces.  It  was  one  hundred 
and  fifty  south  Italian  bishops  who  induced  Tisserant  to  foreclose  procedural 
voting  on  religious  liberty.  Tisserant  secured  majority  consent  of  the  Council 
Presidents  minutes  before  his  announcement.  The  imminence  of  Italian  general 
elections  is  involved  here  and  the  threat  of  leftist  resurgence.  But  it  would  be 
premature  to  decide  that  Paul  VI,  in  his  decision  not  to  overrule  the  praesidium, 
thereby  capitulated  to  the  conservatives,  for  to  have  overruled  would  have  been 
to  countermand  legitimate  authority  and  lawful  presidential  prerogative.  How- 
ever, it  remains  true  that  a  powerful  reactionary  maneuver  was  successful 
in  the  last  hour  of  the  third  session  in  obstructing  the  general  will  of  the 
Council  on  religious  liberty.  The  progressive  majority  had  been  taken  by  sur- 
prise, and  their  enraged  frustration  may  yet  be  heard  from.  The  sorry  episode 
places  in  bold  relief  the  momentous  and  pressing  question  whether  world 
Catholicism  can  be  de-Romanized. 


Council,  and  signs  of  resident  opposition  from  within  that  agency 
became  manifest  over  the  week-end  of  October  11th  when  die-hard 
reaction  attempted,  through  the  office  of  the  General  Secretary,  a 
maneuver  to  subvert  or  emasculate  the  declarations  on  the  Jews  and 
on  religious  liberty.  The  first  was  to  be  buried  in  the  Schema  on  the 
Church.  That  on  religious  liberty  was  to  be  revised  by  a  joint  com- 
mission "stacked"  with  reactionary  party  men,  and  both  declarations 
were  thus  to  be  taken  out  of  the  hands  of  Cardinal  Bea's  Secretariat 
for  Christian  Unity. 

This  was  a  surreptitious  affair  that  was  out-maneuvered  by 
the  Secretariat  with  the  assistance  of  progressive  cardinals  headed  by 
the  courageous,  quiet,  but  indomitable  Cardinal  Frings  of  Cologne. 
The  American  hierarchy  were  furious  with  Secretary  General  Pericle 
Felici,  agent  of  the  abortive  coup.  And  the  resounding  negative  vote 
on  the  Schema  on  "The  Priesthood"  of  Monday,  October  19th,  was, 
almost  certainly,  a  vote  of  "no  confidence"  for  the  management  of  the 

Thus,  while  conservative  diehards  of  the  Curia  and  the  Italian 
hierarchy  are  neither  sleeping  nor  resigned,  they  are  plainly  over- 
powered within  the  Council,  and  their  October  maneuver,  inspired 
no  doubt  by  desperation,  on  that  occasion  "boomeranged"  to  their 
public  discredit  and  open  reproach.  Through  the  intervention  of  the 
determined  group  of  progressive  cardinals,  Paul  VI  was  able  to  con- 
firm the  normal  procedures  of  conciliar  process  and  reconfirm  the 
Secretariat  for  the  Promotion  of  Christian  Unity  in  its  responsi- 
bility for  the  emendation  and  revision  of  the  declaration  on  the 
Jews  and  on  religious  liberty.  Thus,  with  the  decisive  counter- 
maneuver  of  the  progressive  cardinals  behind  Frings,  the  most  im- 
portant declarations  supporting  the  ecumenical  thrust  of  the  Council 
were  preserved  from  emasculation  and,  perhaps,  subversion.  Behind 
the  scenes  in  all  of  this  was  the  master-hand  of  Augustine  Cardinal 
Bea,  who,  for  all  his  eighty-three  years,  is  as  competent  a  strategist  as 
he  is  profound  in  his  vision  of  a  renewed  Catholicism.  Yet  Bea  does 
not,  I  think,  enjoy  under  the  present  Pontificate  of  Paul  VI,  the  place 
of  confidence  which  he  held  under  John  XXIII. 

In  assessing  the  ecumenical  import  of  the  Council,  consideration 
must  necessarily  be  given  to  the  role  of  the  Pope.  It  is  now  fairly 
plain  to  me  that  Paul  VI  has  been  able  to  hold  and  implement,  in  the 
face  of  a  constellation  of  impeding  factors,  the  aim  of  Christian  unity 
propounded  by  his  predecessor.  Although  often  thwarted,  he  has  not 
been  finally  deterred  from  advancing  the  aims  of  the  Council  affirmed 
in  his  inaugural  address  to  the  second  session  in  the  fall  of  1963.  This 


I  believe  to  be  true,  although  there  was  a  period  of  critical  uncertainty 
just  prior  to  and  following  the  terminus  of  the  second  session. 

As  I  assess  the  data  today,  I  perceive  three  steady  lines  of  ap- 
proach on  the  part  of  Paul  VI  which,  together,  combine  to  support 
the  ecumenical  thrust  of  the  Council.  In  all  of  the  Pope's  pronounce- 
ments since  November,  1963,  there  has  been  consistent  emphasis,  first, 
upon  the  need  to  complete  the  work  of  the  First  Vatican  Council  of 
1869-70  in  rounding  out  the  teaching  of  the  Church  concerning  its 
own  nature  and  structures.  Secondly,  there  has  been  recurrent 
stress  upon  the  need  to  perfect  the  decree  on  divine  revelation ;  and, 
thirdly,  there  has  been  an  undiminished  and  developing  expression  of 
concern  for  the  advancement  of  Christian  unity. 

To  present  fully  and  evaluate  the  documentary  and  factual  evi- 
dence relating  to  these  themes  is  out  of  the  question  here.  A  few 
things  may  be  mentioned. 

Regarding  the  nature  and  structure  of  the  Church  we  should  take 
due  notice  that,  with  and  after  Paul's  closing  address  to  the  second 
session,  he  has  consistently  reminded  the  Fathers  that  it  is  their 
business  to  "complement"  the  work  of  the  First  Vatican  Council  {Pope 
Paul  and  Christian  Unity,  ed.  T.  Cranny,  Chair  of  Unity  Apostolate, 
Garrison,  N.  Y.,  p.  46).  This  was  stated  when  the  program  he  had 
accepted  from  John  XXIII  was  under  the  most  rigorous  attack 
by  reactionary  Italian  ecclesiastics  and  rightist  political  and  economic 
powers  in  Italy.  In  the  face  of  this  opposition,  the  Pope's  pilgrimage 
to  the  Holy  Land  was  a  strategic  turning  of  the  tide  and  for  reasons 
which  I  ventured  to  propound  last  year. 

Meanwhile,  the  Pope's  published  address  "On  the  Dignity  of  a 
Bishop,"  June  28,  1964,  contained  another  obvious  overture  to  the 
Council  to  define  the  status  of  the  episcopacy.  His  encyclical  Ec- 
clesiam  Suam  (August  6,  1964)  was  yet  another  open  invitation  to 
the  Council  fathers,  indeed  a  hardly  disguised  plea,  to  define  the 
doctrine  of  the  Church.  And  the  Pope's  opening  address  to  the 
third  session  of  the  Council  gave  more  than  half  its  space  to  promote 
the  central  aim  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council,  namely,  to  resume 
and  complete  the  work  of  the  First  Vatican  Council  by  perfecting  the 
doctrine  of  the  Church,  principally  in  determining  "the  constitutional 
prerogatives  of  the  episcopacy." 

While  Paul  VI  reasserted  the  primacy  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  as 
defined  by  Vatican  I,  it  is  to  be  carefully  noted  that  he  called  for  a 
delineation  of  relations  between  the  episcopate  and  the  Holy  See,  a 
determination  of  status  of  the  episcopate  as  a  sacramental  order,  and 
roundly  affirmed  that  the  sacred  ecumenical  Council  has  "supreme 


authority  over  the  entire  church"  in  company  with  the  Roman 

In  all  this,  and  there  is  much  more,  it  is  rather  plain  in  retrospect, 
that  Paul  VI  has  consistently  used  his  influence  to  encourage  the 
pluralization  of  episcopal  power  and  authority,  which  he  understands 
to  be  shared  with  himself  by  the  world  episcopate.  His  own  words 
indicate  that  he  desires  to  redress  the  widespread  impression  of  im- 
balance created  by  the  First  Vatican  Council's  definition  of  "the 
primacy."  In  so  many  words  he  denies  that  the  primacy  "limited  the 
authority  of  bishops,  the  successors  of  the  apostles."  He  denies 
that  it  "rendered  superfluous  and  prevented  the  convocation  of  a  sub- 
sequent Ecumenical  Council,  which,"  he  says,  "however,  according 
to  canon  law  has  supreme  authority  over  the  entire  Church"  (Opening 
Address,  Third  Session,  Second  Vatican  Council). 

In  September  of  this  year  I  wrote  in  Together  magazine  that  the 
tide  is  at  the  flood,  that  "the  hard  and  momentous  choice  confronting 
Paul  VI  ...  is  whether  he  can  bring  himself  to  accept  the  pluraliza- 
tion of  ecclesiastical  structure  and  authority  as  an  inevitable  con- 
comitant of  the  Roman  Church's  now  actual,  if  limited,  universality." 
With  his  opening  allocution  to  the  third  session  of  Vatican  II,  it  now 
seems  rather  clear  that,  against  very  great  odds,  he  did  accept  the 
pluralization  in  question.  It  appears  that  he  has  been  able  to  hold  the 
adopted  line  and  program  of  his  predecessor.  His  predecessor  saw,  I 
think,  that  apart  from  a  universalizing  of  the  Church,  there  was  only 
the  continuing  prospect  of  diminishing  returns  for  its  apostolate  in 
the  modern  world.  To  put  it  simply,  John  XXIII  viewed  a  Curia- 
dominated  Italian  Catholicism  as  too  narrow  and  restricted  an  in- 
strumentality for  the  evangelization  of  the  modern  world.  Or,  even 
more  plainly,  he  saw,  and  Paul  VI  has  seen,  that  the  First  Vatican 
Council  had  inadvertently  contrived  to  make  Curial  bureaucratic 
Catholicism,  as  the  continuing  executive  arms  of  the  Papacy,  the 
determinative  source  of  Catholic  Christianity.  He  saw  that  this  was 
anachronistic  in  the  modern  world  and  unreliable  and  even  destruc- 
tive of  the  spiritual  vitality  of  the  Church.  He  saw  that  the  Pope 
had,  in  great  measure,  become  a  prisoner  of  the  regime.  Not  only  did 
the  latter  presume  to  infallibility  in  the  administration  of  Papal  af- 
fairs, as  representative  of  the  Papacy;  it  in  fact  tended,  by  a  kind 
of  inner  logic,  to  usurp  the  Pope's  spiritual  leadership  in  the  multi- 
farious exigencies  of  administration.  This  is  why  John  XXIII 
called  for  a  Council,  and  this  is  why  Paul  VI  has  now  insisted  upon 
the  supreme  authority  of  the   Council  in  company  with  the  Pope. 


Only  through  a  Council  was  it  any  longer  possible  to  subordinate 
to  its  proper  role  and  function  the  Curial  power. 

Never  shall  I  forget  the  day  Ottaviani  in  the  second  session  rose 
to  reply  to  Cardinal  Frings'  ringing  denunciation  of  the  Holy  Office 
as  occasion  of  scandal  to  the  Church.  In  his  heated  reply,  Ottaviani 
presumed  to  warn  and  even  threaten  the  Council.  Here  was  the  un- 
veiling of  the  Curial  mentality  in  its  ripeness.  It  had  gradually 
presumed  not  only  to  speak  for  but,  in  a  sense,  to  be  the  Church. 
So  far,  in  the  third  session,  Ottaviani  has  been  mostly  silent  and  his 
closer  colleagues  somewhat  mild  and  restrained,  but,  as  we  have 
seen,  they  have  not  been  inactive,  nor  will  they  do  other  than  die 
trying  to  retain  for  the  Curia  its  absolute  powers. 

Finally,  with  reference  to  the  Papal  program,  I  would  call  your 
attention  to  the  quite  apparent  indication  that  the  encyclical  Ec- 
clesiam  Suam  is  an  open  appeal  to  the  world  episcopate  to  assert  its 
authority  and  declare  its  common  mind  on  the  unsettled  issues  of 
the  Council.  Subtle,  but  nevertheless  conspicuous,  is  the  Pope's 
declination  to  interpose  his  own  views  or  to  determine  the  shape 
of  doctrinal  decisions  which  he  reserves  expressly  for  the  episcopate 
in  conciliar  pronouncement.  On  one  basic  issue  has  he,  as  it  were, 
almost  "shoved"  the  episcopate,  namely,  to  the  determination  of  its 
own  place,  function,  and  dignity  in  relation  to  the  Papacy.  I  am 
now  well  beyond  need  of  conviction  that  the  Pope  believes,  as  he  has 
repeatedly  declared,  it  to  be  the  crucial  issue  requiring  the  settle- 
ment of  the  Council.  It  is  reported  that,  when  the  Council  recently 
adopted  by  safe  majorities  the  crucial  propositions  on  the  nature  of  the 
episcopacy,  the  Pope  exclaimed,  "The  Council  is  saved !"  At  this 
juncture,  it  now  looks  as  if  the  Pope  has  negotiated,  with  important 
assistance,  the  treacherous  predicament  and  fearful  suspense  in- 
volved in  inducing  the  Council  to  serve  the  Church  by  accepting  a 
role  that  he  has  called  "the  supreme  authority  over  the  entire 
Church."  I  propose  for  your  consideration  the  possibility  that,  for 
those  who  have  eyes  to  see,  you  are  witnessing  a  radical  renovation 
of  modern  Catholicism.  Paul  VI  has  actively  encouraged  and  the 
Council  has  finally  responded  in  asserting  the  principle  of  primus  supra 
pares.  The  Pope  is  first  over  equals,  the  visible  symbol,  perhaps  the 
source,  of  unity  in  the  Church.  But  always  to  be  understood  is 
this,  that  herewith  the  Roman  Curia  ceases  to  be  the  de  facto 
arbiter  of  doctrine,  policies,  life  and  work  of  world  Catholicism.  It 
becomes  only  the  administrative  agency  and  servant  of  the  world 


III.    The  Ecumenical  Import  of  the  Doctrine  of  the  Church 

On  the  opening  day  of  the  third  session  of  Vatican  II,  Paul  VI 
said :  "The  hour  has  sounded  in  history  when  the  church  which  ex- 
presses herself  in  us  and,  from  us,  receives  structure — and  life 
— must  say  of  herself  what  Christ  intended  and  willed  her  to  be.  .  .  . 
The  church  must  give  a  definition  of  herself  and  bring  out  from  her 
true  consciousness  the  doctrine  which  the  Holy  Spirit  teaches  her 
according  to  the  Lord's  promise  .  .  ."  In  the  time  allowed  it  is 
hardly  possible  even  to  sketch  the  general  content  of  that  "con- 
sciousness" which  has  been  impressively  forged  in  the  second  and 
third  sessions  of  the  Council.  The  subject  is  vast,  and  I  shall  neces- 
sarily restrict  commentary  to  selected  issues  which  may  attract 
Protestant  reaction.  I  shall  refer  first  of  all  to  the  ecumenical  import 
of  the  controversial  Chapter  III,  "On  the  Hierarchical  Structure  of  the 

A.  The  voting  on  this  chapter  was  already  well  along  on  my 
arrival  at  the  third  session.  In  a  series  of  thirty-nine  ballots  dealing 
with  an  equal  number  of  propositions,  the  Council  fathers  with  large 
majorities  declared  themselves  in  favor  of  what  has  come  to  be 
called  the  principle  of  "collegiality."  For  many  fathers,  and  es- 
pecially for  the  observers,  the  extended  voting  on  Chapter  III  was  a 
period  of  high  suspense.  The  conservatives  certainly  made  some 
attempt  at  the  last  to  stem  the  tide. 

On  September  21,  Bishop  Frane  Franich  of  Yugoslavia  was  per- 
mitted to  summarize  objections  to  the  "sacramentality"  of  the  epis- 
copate and  the  "collegiality"  of  bishops.  He  argued  that  Chapter  III 
would  set  up  a  new  doctrine  on  the  episcopal  college  as  having,  by 
divine  right,  supreme  power  over  the  whole  Church.  This  cannot  be 
squared,  he  argued,  with  the  primacy  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  as  that 
primacy  is  defined  by  Vatican  Council  I.  Therefore,  it  makes  the 
down-grading  of  the  papal  primacy  unavoidable.  It  accords  to  the 
bishops,  although  on  a  subordinate  level,  the  right  with  the  Pope  to 
co-govern  the  entire  Church.  The  doctrine  of  "collegiality"  cannot 
be  proved  from  Scripture  and  had  doubtful  basis  in  tradition.  In  con- 
clusion, it  was  contended  that,  while  the  doctrine  may  not  be  with- 
out probability,  it  has  not  reached  the  ripeness  requisite  for  a  present 
decision  of  the  Ecumenical  Council. 

In  all  of  this,  I  think  I  see  "the  fine  Italian  hand"  of  the  Curia 
conservatives.  I  have  it  on  the  best  authority  that  they  had  tried 
to  get  Cardinal  Cushing  to  make  the  speech.  It  was  prepared  for  his 
deliverance  on  his  arrival  in  Rome  in  September.  He  refused  out  of 
hand.    Probably   in   order  to  cover  their  tracks,   the   Italians   then 


turned  to  Yugoslavia.  But  it  was  too  little  and  too  late.  Paul  VI 
in  the  opening  address  had  made  the  unmistakable  call  for  decision ; 
and  Cardinal  Parente  of  the  Holy  Office  saw  fit,  for  reasons  some- 
what inscrutable  in  view  of  his  earlier  record,  to  make  the  answering 
positive  appeal  for  adoption.  Parente  even  argued  that  there  is  not  a 
twofold  power  in  the  Church,  but  only  one — the  supreme  power 
which  Christ  conferred  on  the  entire  Apostolic  College. 

The  meaning  of  "collegiality"  invokes  the  composite  of  perhaps 
twenty  of  the  thirty-nine  propositions.  Relying  upon  paragraph  18 
of  Chapter  III,  I  venture  to  suggest  that  "collegiality"  means  that 
Christ  willed  bishops  of  the  Church  to  be  successors  of  the  Apostles 
as  shepherds,  teachers,  and  sanctifiers  of  his  Church  to  the  end  of 
time;  that  the  sacramental  order  of  the  episcopate  is  "one  and  undi- 
vided" ;  that  Peter  and  his  successors  are  the  principle  of  unity ;  and 
that  the  successors  of  the  Apostles,  together  with  the  successor  of 
Peter,  govern  the  house  of  the  living  God ;  and,  finally,  that  there  is  no 
ordination  superior  to  that  of  a  bishop  of  the  Church. 

What  does  this  mean  ?  Well,  it  would  be  presumptuous  to  say  ex- 
cept in  the  perspective  of  history !  But  what  it  means  potentially  and 
may  mean  actually — depending  on  how  it  is  henceforth  implemented 
— is  this :  It  means  that  the  Pope  is  sacramentally  first  among  equals. 
It  means  that  he  governs  the  Church  hereafter  more  nearly  with  the 
consent  of  the  governed.  It  may  mean  that  government  of  the  Church 
will  become  a  coordinate  activity  of  the  Pope  and  a  council  of 
bishops.  It  may  mean  a  redistribution  and  pluralization  of  power. 
It  probably  means  that  papal  pronouncements  and  acts  will  become 
increasingly  conciliar  in  origin  and  substance.  It  may  well  mean 
that  expressions  of  infallibility  in  declarations  on  faith  and  morals 
will  become  more  nearly  conciliar.  It  means  a  certain  decentraliza- 
tion of  power  and  authority  reinvesting  it  in  national  or  regional 
conferences  of  bishops.  Negatively,  it  means,  as  already  stated,  re- 
ducing the  power  of  the  Roman  Curia  more  nearly  to  that  of  an  ad- 
ministrative correlating  agency  of  the  whole  Church. 

To  be  sure,  what  has  been  voted  by  the  Council  in  principle  re- 
mains to  be  implemented.  Implementation  rests  in  great  part,  but 
not  entirely,  upon  the  initiative  of  the  presiding  Pope.  Only  time 
will  tell  in  what  measure  decentralization  of  authority  provided  in 
principle  can  and  will  be  appropriated  in  fact  by  the  world  episcopate. 
There  are  significant  precedents  for  this  in  France,  the  Netherlands, 
Germany,  and  Poland.  For  the  moment,  we  have  only  the  vindication 
of  the  principle  of  the  pluralization  and  decentralization  of  authority. 

Now,  what  is  the  import  of  this  for  ecumenicity  ?  On  this,  one  can 


only  guess.  One  may  suspect  that  for  ultramontane  Catholicism  an 
imbalance  has  been  redressed.  John  Henry  Newman,  God  rest  his 
soul,  must  rejoice !  For  Protestants,  the  monolithic  ecclesiastical  em- 
pire of  Rome  has  received  some  remodeling.  The  offense  of  a  mon- 
archial  anachronism,  belatedly  sanctioned  in  1870,  has  been  relieved. 
Some  relief  from  the  domination  of  a  decadent  Latin  and  provincial 
Catholicism  looks  more  possible.  It  sometimes  even  looks  as  if 
Catholicism  may  not  always  have  to  be  just  Roman  and  might  be- 
come just  Christian !  Who  can  foretell  the  consequences  of  this  new 
look?  For  the  Eastern  Orthodox,  we  had  better  wait  and  see.  At 
the  moment,  all  I  can  suggest  is  that,  with  the  adoption  of  the  new 
doctrine  of  the  universal  episcopate,  the  Pope  looks  more  like  the 
Bishop  of  Rome  and  the  primatial  patriarch  of  the  See  of  Peter  and 
somewhat  less  like  the  absolute  and  solitary  Vicar  of  Christ.  But 
to  this  new  shape  of  things  I  am  disposed  to  think  "high-church" 
Anglicans  are  more  likely  to  experience  acceleration  of  the  pulse 
rate  than  will  the  Orthodox.  Do  not,  however,  underestimate  the 
long  range  significance  of  this  alteration.  Conjoined  with  parallel 
actions  of  the  Council,  and  reinforced  by  them,  the  altered  style  has 
in  it  the  potential  resident  force  of  a  genuine  Catholic  renaissance 
and  a  powerful  motivation  toward  unity. 

B.  Adequate  treatment  of  the  first  and  second  chapters  of  "De  Ec- 
clesia,"  on  The  Mystery  of  the  Church  and  The  People  of  God 
is  out  of  the  question.  On  the  side  of  ecumenical  import  I  can  men- 
tion only  a  few  features  of  more  positive  implication. 

First,  one  notes  that  the  whole  treatment  of  the  Church  is  scrip- 
turally  based  rather  than  philosophically  grounded.  Moreover,  in 
line  with  recent  developments  in  biblical  theology,  the  Church  is  seen 
as  the  culmination  and  climax  of  the  history  of  salvation  recorded  in 
the  Sacred  History.  The  Church  is  the  kingdom  of  Christ  now 
present  in  mystery  and,  by  God's  power,  is  visibly  growing  in  the 
world.  It  was  established  by  the  Son  of  God  and  is  sustained  and 
sanctified  by  the  Holy  Spirit.  Pre-eminently  the  Kingdom  is  mani- 
fested in  the  Person  of  Christ  Himself.  But  the  Church  is  hallowed 
by  His  continuing  presence  in  the  Eucharist  and  in  the  sanctifying 
power  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

Of  the  Church,  Christ  is  the  only  mediator  and  redeemer ;  and  the 
Council  is  unsure  and  rather  indisposed  to  attribute  to  the  Virgin 
Mary  the  role  of  "mediatrix,"  but  at  present  the  matter  is  unsettled. 
Mary  is,  however,  safely  to  be  considered  as  the  "mother  of  the 
Church"  and  its  pre-eminent  member.  The  Church  also  is  "the 
people  of  God" — an  emphasis  both  biblical  and  Augustinian.    The 


whole  people  is  called  to  a  "royal  priesthood"  and  is,  as  a  whole, 
endowed  with  special  and  diverse  graces  and  gifts. 

There  is  a  distinguishable  priesthood  of  the  faithful,  on  the  one 
hand,  and  of  the  hierarchical  priesthood,  on  the  other.  The  priest  is 
specially  endowed  with  sacred  power  for  ruling,  teaching,  and  the 
administration  of  the  sacraments.  While  the  priesthood  of  the  faith- 
ful is  exercised  in  concurring  with  the  sacrifice  of  the  Eucharist,  the 
hierarchical  priesthood  alone  possesses  the  apostolic  and  super- 
natural endowment  of  grace  to  discharge  the  office  of  teacher,  ruler, 
and  hierophant.  Thus  it  is  declared  that  outstanding,  that  is,  pre- 
eminent among  the  gifts  of  Christ  and  the  Holy  Spirit  is  the  grace 
of  the  Apostles.  This  grace  is  continuously  transmitted  to  successors. 
To  the  Apostles  and  their  successors  the  Spirit  subjects  the  receivers 
of  the  charismata,  that  is,  the  faithful.  Finally,  the  Church  is  en- 
dowed with  heavenly  goods,  the  continual  grace  of  the  Spirit.  It  is, 
accordingly,  at  once  a  visible  group  and  a  spiritual  community.  It 
forms  a  single  reality  in  which  coalesce,  after  the  manner  of  the  In- 
carnation, a  human  and  a  divine  element. 

For  Protestants,  a  few  problems  begin  to  emerge  which  I  will 
attempt  to  state  succinctly  in  the  order  of  their  gravity : 

First,  there  will  be  some  trouble  among  the  non-episcopal  Prot- 
estant brethren  about  the  doctrine  of  "apostolic  succession,"  which 
is  spelled  out  with  remarkable  confidence  about  the  facts  of  Apostolic 
history  in  Chapter  III  and  has  been,  not  surprisingly,  fully  adopted 
by  the  Council.  Accompanying  this  is  the  declaration  that  tends  to 
find  in  historic  succession  the  somewhat  over-confident  assurance  of 
endowment  of  grace  for  every  successor.  In  this  regard  some  Prot- 
estants have,  on  empirical  evidence,  found  cause  for  doubt. 

Secondly,  most  Protestants  will  have  trouble  with  the  pervasive 
assumption  of  both  the  Schema  and  Paul  VTs  opening  address  to  the 
third  session  that,  in  a  super-eminent  degree,  grace  is  singled  out 
for  the  hierarchical  priesthood  or  that  a  distinctive  dispensation  of 
grace  constitutes  an  authoritative  body  within  the  universal  royal 
priesthood  of  all  believers  and  that  this  sets  them  apart  as  the  ruling, 
teaching,  and  sacramentally  empowered  body.  From  this,  of  course, 
derives  the  doctrine  of  the  authoritative  magisterium,  or  teaching 
office  of  the  Church,  which  now,  with  Vatican  II  will  be  shared  by 
Pope  and  episcopate.  In  certain  contexts  and  under  certain  condi- 
tions, this  magisterium  becomes  infallible. 

To  the  Protestant,  this  places  more  confidence  in  the  power  of 
Divine  grace  than  its  vehicle  seems  always  to  assure.    It  is  not  that 


the  Protestant  is  not  a  respecter  of  persons  (he  is  in  fact  liable  to  his 
version  of  discrimination  among  them)  ;  it  is  rather  that  the  Protestant 
takes  St.  Paul  very  seriously  when  he  says  of  the  Spirit  of  God  that 
"we  have  this  treasure  in  earthen  vessels."  You  might  say  that  his 
anthropology  is  more  dismal,  or  that  he  trvists  God  more  and  man  less 
than  Catholic  tradition  seems  disposed  to  do. 

Thirdly,  we  are  brought  to  the  third  point,  which  is  derived.  The 
Protestant  has  a  different  view  from  that  of  the  Catholic  of  both  the 
temples  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  which  we  are,  and  the  liability  of  any 
and  all  temples  to  defilement.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  he  is  dubious 
about  all  conceptions  of  the  gift  of  grace  in  the  analogy  of  a  permanent 
endowment.  This  is  what  the  Schema  "On  the  Church"  has  left  rather 
unexamined  and  unaltered  as  the  notion  derives  from  Catholic  tra- 
dition. The  Protestant  is  not  aware  that  any  person  or  any  insti- 
tution, including  the  Church,  is  holy  as  a  capital  investment  to  draw 
upon.  The  Protestant  is  disposed  always  to  say  that  the  Church  is 
being  made  holy,  that  God  is  sanctifying  the  Church ;  but  the  capital 
is  God's,  in  His  keeping  and  cannot  be  surely  available  by  way  of  as- 
sured quarterly  dividends.  There  the  Protestant  does  not  presume 
on  any  permanent  endowment. 

And  this  brings  us  to  the  final  point.  The  knowledgeable  Prot- 
estant will  agree  to  "the  mystery  of  the  Church."  He  will  agree  that 
its  visibility  never  exhausts  its  reality,  that  what  it  appears  as  is  not 
the  sum  of  what  it  is,  for  the  sum  of  what  it  is  includes  God's  Holy 
Spirit  and  this  is  in  God's  keeping.  But,  just  so,  he  will  be  very 
cautious  about  conceiving  the  Church  after  the  analogy  of  the  In- 
carnation because  analogy  so  easily  is  transmuted  into  univocacy  by 
the  vulgar,  of  whom  there  are  many. 

The  human  vehicle  of  the  Church  is,  in  point  of  fact,  not  amenable 
to  the  Spirit  of  Christ  in  such  measure  of  pre-eminent  perfection  as 
the  humanity  of  our  Lord  was  subject  to  His  Divine  nature.  Accord- 
ingly, the  Protestant  finds  the  Incarnation  einmaligkeit,  that  is,  ab- 
solutely unique  and  therefore,  alone  and  uniquely  revelation  and 
redemption.  It  views  any  modification  of  this  absoluteness  a  temp- 
tation to  the  domestication  of  deity  or  of  the  Spirit  of  God.  The  Spirit 
bloweth  where  it  listeth !  An  ecclesiology  which  understands  the 
Church  as  some  mode  or  manner  of  the  Incarnation  will  eventuate 
in  a  doctrine  of  revelation  that  finds  the  latter  equally  in  Christ  and 
in  tradition.  It  will,  furthermore,  tend  to  insist  on  locating  the  keys 
of  the  Kingdom  somewhere.  The  Protestant  is  simply  unable  to 
locate  them,  because  they  are,  he  believes,  in  God's  keeping  or  because 


there  is  no  real  "extension"  of  the  Incarnation.  Thus,  the  Prot- 
estant is  reluctant  to  accept  any  modification  of  "the  mystery"  of  the 
Church.  For  him  the  Church  is  more  radically  a  mystery  because  the 
only  source  and  ground  of  its  life  is  in  God,  not  in  man. 

Now  what  I  have  said  is  affirmed  only  to  help  us  appraise  the 
measure  of  the  ecumenical  import  of  "De  Ecclesia"  from  the  viewpoint 
of,  I  believe,  classical  Protestant  theology.  I  am  far  from  suggesting 
that  the  Schema  does  not  entail  rapprochement  with  the  Protestant 
standpoint.  It  does  so  in  its  Christocentricity,  in  its  scriptural  orienta- 
tion, in  its  doctrine  of  the  universal  royal  priesthood  of  all  believers, 
in  the  Church  as  the  body  of  Christ,  and  in  its  emphasis  upon  the 
mystery  of  the  Church.  But  where  it  stops  us,  I  think,  as  Prot- 
estants is  just  exactly  in  its  failure  to  let  the  "mystery"  of  the  Church 
be  radical.  The  problem  centers,  perhaps,  in  the  notion  of  grace  as  a 
permanent  endowment.  Endowments  require  safekeeping  and,  ordi- 
narily, trustees  empowered  to  conserve  and  disperse.  This  crystallizes 
in  its  way  the  problem  of  freedom  and  authority. 

Manifestly,  this  Roman  Catholic  version  is  one  possible  concep- 
tion of  the  Church.  A  long  and  noble  and  fruitful  history  proves  that ! 
In  its  principle  of  collegiality,  the  Catholic  Church  has  made  a  sig- 
nificant advance,  I  believe,  in  broadening  the  conception  of  trustee- 
ship to  include  a  far  more  representative  board.  I  think  we  should 
both  acknowledge  and  seek  to  understand  the  full  significance  of  this 
transformation  that  now  appears  in  our  epoch.  If,  however,  from  the 
Protestant  standpoint  we  are  to  appraise  the  import  of  all  this  for  the 
cause  of  Christian  unity,  it  is  not  too  soon  to  begin  to  ascertain  the 
fundamental  issues  which  will  have  to  be  faced  openly  in  the 
"dialogue"  which  Paul  VI  eloquently  described  and  recommended 
for  the  days  and  years  ahead.  Dialogue  is  in  fact  the  new  word  of 
the  third  session  of  Vatican  II.  It  is  just  beginning.  Some  of  us 
have  experienced  a  deep  and  abiding  fellowship  already  with  our 
Catholic  brethren.  We  have  been  greatly  enriched.  The  eyes  of  our 
minds  have  been  opened  to  dimensions  of  Christian  life  and  experience 
hitherto  obscured  to  us  or  unknown.   We  are  the  better  for  it. 

And  now,  in  closing,  let  me  remind  you  of  two  things :  I  warned 
much  earlier  that  you  cannot  measure  the  emerging  power  of  the 
ecumenical  movement  and  spirit  of  the  Catholic  Church  simply  by 
assessing  the  documents  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council.  I  urge  you 
to  recall  the  reason:  it  is  that  the  decrees  of  the  Council  are  a  re- 
sultant of  two  forces  operative  in  the  contemporary  Catholic  Church. 
One  is  the  vision  of  an  opening  future  under  the  leading  of  the  Spirit 
of  love  and  light.    The  other  is  a  tenacious  backward  look  nostalgic 


for  a  glorious  but  vanishing  past.  At  this  moment,  despite  the  critique 
I  have  ventured,  the  Council  is,  I  believe,  succeeding  in  turning  more 
nearly  to  the  future  than  to  the  past  and  in  a  spirit  of  trust,  on  the 
part  of  most  Council  fathers,  that  would  hearten  and  rejoice  you. 

The  second  matter  is  this :  I  do  not  know  if  I  shall  ever  again 
revisit  St.  Peter's  square  to  watch  the  fountains  through  the  columns 
of  Bernini's  colonnade  or  behold  with  upward  glance  the  massive 
figure  of  St.  Paul  armed  with  "the  sword  of  the  Spirit"  or  St.  Peter 
with  the  "keys,"  but  this  I  hope  and  pray — that,  in  the  varied 
course  of  her  modern  pilgrimage,  the  Catholic  Church  will  come  to 
redress  an  ancient  imbalance :  I  pray  that  she  will  one  day  come  to 
place  as  much,  nay  more,  confidence  in  the  Pauline  sword  of  the 
Spirit  as,  in  all  these  centuries,  she  has  rejoiced,  some  think  too 
much,  in  the  power  of  the  keys. 

What  we  are  faced  with,  what  we  shall  be  faced  with  in  the 
years  of  the  hoped-for  dialogue  ahead  between  Catholics  and  other 
Christians,  is  the  centuries-old  antinomy  between  Petrine  and 
Pauline  Christianity.  The  hope  of  unity  depends  upon  a  mutual  dis- 
covery that  the  two  are  in  a  relation  of  polarity,  not  simply  of  con- 
trariety. Somehow  "the  power  of  the  keys"  must  be  truly  balanced 
by  "the  sword  of  the  Spirit,"  and,  I  would  add,  conversely  "the  sword 
of  the  Spirit"  must  be  balanced  by  "the  power  of  the  keys."  In  this 
polarity  is  the  hope  of  ecumenical  advance  and,  down  an  unknown 
road,  perhaps,  the  eventual  reunification  of  Christendom. 

V.   Prospects  of  Ecumenism 

Robert  E.  Cushman 

I.  Intimations  from  Paul  VI 

The  rays  of  a  late  afternoon  September  sun  slanted  through  the 
high  windows  of  the  Sistine  Chapel  and  warmed  the  bluish  tones  of 
Michelangelo's  great  masterpiece,  the  Last  Judgment.  From  where 
I  sat,  the  man  contemplating  eternal  damnation  was  discomfitingly 
visible,  as  was  also  the  sovereign  Divider  of  the  sheep  from  the  goats. 
The  great  fresco  left  no  room  for  doubt  that  human  life  is  always 
in  crisis  that  calls  for  decision.  And,  in  a  real  sense,  the  fact  of 
our  being  there  at  all  as  non-Catholic  observers  was  evidence  that 
momentous  decisions  are  called  for  in  the  face  of  the  revolution  with- 
in Catholicism  precipitated  by  a  Pope,  now  gone  to  his  reward,  him- 
self having  faced  the  formidable  issues  of  his  moment  of  leadership 
of  the  Catholic  Church. 

That  afternoon,  as  the  observers  to  the  Second  Vatican  Council 
sat  in  a  rectangle  awaiting  the  entrance  of  Paul  VI,  it  was  easy  to 
imagine  the  scaffolding  and  the  titan  of  artistic  genius,  centuries  earlier, 
plying  his  colors  in  a  colossal  effort  to  discharge  his  lay  apostolate 
to  Pope,  to  Church,  and  to  the  glory  of  God.  Now,  centuries  later, 
strangers  and  pilgrims,  we  entered  into  the  immortal  inheritance  of 
Michelangelo's  stewardship  of  faith  in  the  course  of  pursuing  our  own 
stewardship  of  larger  ecumenical  understanding. 

It  was  hardly  possible  to  conceive  a  more  majestic  and  solemn 
setting  for  a  climactic  moment  in  modern  church  history.  It  was  to 
be  the  third  meeting  of  the  observers  during  the  period  of  the  Council 
with  the  reigning  Pope — a  privilege  not  regularly  afforded  the  general- 
ity of  Catholic  bishops.  The  first  meeting  was  in  the  fall  of  1962,  when 
John  XXIII  asked  the  observers  not  to  ponder  his  words  merely, 
but  to  try  to  penetrate  his  mind  and  heart  and  comprehend  the  mea- 
sure of  his  rejoicing  in  their  presence,  the  warmth  of  his  welcome, 
and  the  fervor  of  his  hopes. 

Now,  this  meeting  would  be  the  second  with  John's  successor. 
The  Secretariat  for  the  Promotion  of  Christian  Unity,  under  Augus- 
tine Cardinal  Bea,  had  made  the  arrangements  with  customary  un- 
ostentatious competence.  Its  chief  director,  second  in  command  to 
Bea,  the  newly  elevated  Bishop  Willebrands,  was  the  attentive  and  un- 
failingly gracious  presiding  host.    Monsignor  Arrighi  bustled  pleas- 


antly,  as  usual,  securing  every  detail  of  protocol,  and  Monsignor 
Dupre,  Father  Stransky  and  others  of  the  Secretariat  staff  hovered  in 
the  wings. 

Cardinal  Bea  himself  entered,  stooped,  as  it  were,  with  the  weight 
of  benign  sagacity  but  devoid  of  all  pretense,  and  took  his  seat  to  the 
right  of  the  papal  chair. 

At  length,  Paul  VI  entered  without  announcement :  restrained, 
composed  but  masterful,  and  smiling  somewhat  shyly  or  sadly,  I 
thought,  followed  by  his  attendants.  When  he  had  motioned  us  to  be 
seated,  Cardinal  Bea  arose  to  give  the  observers  both  welcome  and 
introduction.  Thereafter,  the  Very  Reverend  Archimandrite  Pan- 
teleimon  Rodopoloulos,  the  rather  youthful  emissary  of  Athenagoras, 
Ecumenical  Patriarch  of  Istanbul,  addressed  the  Pope  on  behalf  of 
the  observers  in  irenic  but  somewhat  reserved,  if  hopeful,  generalities. 
To  this  Paul  VI  responded,  reading  slowly  in  French  with  directness, 
evident  earnestness,  and  disciplined  warmth. 

What  the  reigning  Pope  has  to  say  on  the  ecumenical  front, 
activated  as  it  is  by  the  Second  Vatican  Council  in  its  third  session, 
cannot  be  passed  unnoticed.1  He  expressed  "spiritual  joy"  in  the 
renewed  meeting  with  the  observers.  In  the  fact  itself  he  found 
renewed  evidence  of  mutual  satisfaction  unmarred  by  signs  of  fatigue 
or  disappointment  but,  on  the  contrary,  of  increasing  liveliness  and 
trust.  An  "abyss  of  diffidence  and  scepticism"  had  been  "mostly 
bridged  over,"  he  declared,  and,  in  physical  nearness,  there  had  been 
much  conducive  to  "a  spiritual  drawing-together"  formerly  unknown. 
"A  friendship  has  been  born,"  he  said.  "A  new  method  has  been 
affirmed."  You  may  note,  said  the  Pope,  "how  the  Catholic  Church 
is  disposed  towards  honourable  and  serene  dialogue.  She  is  not  in 
haste,  but  desires  only  to  begin  it,  leaving  it  to  divine  goodness  to 
bring  it  to  a  conclusion,  in  the  manner  and  time  God  pleases."  While 
the  Catholic  Church  is  "unable  to  abandon  certain  doctrinal  exigencies 
to  which  she  has  the  duty  in  Christ  to  remain  faithful,"  she  is  never- 
theless "disposed  to  study  how  difficulties  can  be  removed,  mis- 
understandings dissipated,  and  the  authentic  treasures  of  truth  and 
spirituality  which  you  possess  be  respected  .  .  .  ."  Paul  VI  went  on  to 
say,  that  the  Catholic  Church  is  ready  to  study  "how  certain  canonical 
forms  can  be  enlarged  and  adapted."  All  this,  he  affirmed  to  the 
end  of  facilitating  "a  recomposition  in  unity  of  the  great  and,  by 
now,  centuries-old  Christian  communities  still  separated  from  Us. 
It  is  love,  not  egoism,  which  inspires  Us:  'For  the  love  of  Christ 
impels  us'  (II  Cor.  5:14)." 

1.  See  Appendix  for  the  verbatim  address  in  English  translation,  page  75. 


As  the  Pope  spoke,  the  setting  sun  accented  the  colors  of  Michel- 
angelo's Last  Judgment.  The  sincerity  of  his  spoken  words  was  un- 
mistakable and  compelling.  So  also  was  their  tact,  their  candor  and 
integrity.  Together  we  joined  in  the  Pater  Noster,  each  in  his  own 
language,  and  before  departing,  we  recited  together  the  Gloria  in  ex- 
celcis  Deo.  Such  was  the  common  prayer  of  the  observers  with  the 
Pope  as  lector. 

Observers  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council  cannot  easily  dismiss 
the  Pope's  expression  of  spiritual  satisfaction  in  their  continuing 
presence.  It  is  true,  not  merely  at  the  Council  but  elsewhere,  that 
chasms  of  diffidence  and  pervasive  distrust  have  been  greatly  re- 
placed by  emergent  friendships  and  unprecedented  fraternity.  From 
the  side  of  the  observers,  I  can  corroborate  the  Pope's  impression 
that  relations  between  us,  the  Council  fathers,  and  the  theological 
consultants  became,  especially  in  the  third  session,  matters  of  mutual 
acceptance,  one  might  say  almost  of  expectant  normality.  Manifest 
everywhere  down  to  the  level  of  the  Vatican  guards  was  an  atmosphere 
of  enhancing  trust  and  enlarging  respect.  In  informal  discussion,  at 
receptions,  and  private  dinners,  lively  dialogue  replaced  hesitancy 
and  protocol.  Conversation  became  increasingly  unstudied,  free, 
and  eager  and  even  probing.  Amusing,  perhaps,  but  significant  was 
a  tendency  of  many  observers  to  identify  themselves  almost  uncon- 
sciously with  liberalizing  tendencies  and  spokesmen  thereof. 

The  fact  is  that  "dialogue"  became  the  fashionable  word  at  the 
third  session  of  the  Council.  It  found  a  new  place  in  both  official 
language  and  official  function.  In  the  interim  between  sessions,  it 
had  received  not  only  papal  sanction  but  also  development  and  eluci- 
dation. The  Pope's  strongest  and  clearest  utterance  in  his  recent 
encyclical  Ecclesiam  Suam  set  forth  the  nature  and  advanced  the 
desirability  of  enlarging  and  continued  dialogue  with  non-Catholics. 
Moreover,  it  was  recognized  that,  by  its  nature,  dialogue  presup- 
poses a  certain  mutuality  of  respect  between  partners  of  dialogue,  a 
spirit  of  openness  and  inquiry  with  the  prospect  of  enlarging  mutual 

This  sustained  and  quite  forthright  invitation  to  dialogue  on  the 
part  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  is  a  remarkable  departure  from  the  de- 
fensiveness  of  late  nineteenth-century  papal  pronouncements  that 
warned  of  the  menace  and  required  abstention  of  the  faithful  from 
intercourse  with  non-Catholics.  At  the  same  time,  Paul  VI  has  been 
candid.  In  Ecclesiam  Suam  he  has  said  that  "it  is  not  in  our  power 
to  compromise  with  the  integrity  of  the  faith."2   So  also  in  his  words 

2.  Ecclesiam  Suam,  English   translation,   Huntington,    Indiana,    1964,  p.  37. 


to  the  observers  he  spoke  openly  of  inability  to  abandon  "certain 
doctrinal  exigencies"  as  the  price  of  fruitful  conversation.  Neverthe- 
less, now  that  the  Catholic  Church  has  entered  into  conversations 
and  taken  "the  initiative  toward  reunion,"  it  is  prepared  to  study  how 
obstacles  may  be  overcome  to  facilitate  "a  recomposition  in  unity." 
This  is  a  new  phrase  and  worthy  of  most  careful  attention.  Of- 
fered  in  the  newly  enunciated  context  of  "dialogue,"   it  proposes, 

I  think,  to  find  a  way  of  advance  toward  unity  that  avoids  and  may 
supersede  the  offensive  and,  certainly,  naive  notion  of  return  to  the 
Catholic  fold.  "Recomposition"  is  not  simple  "return."  It  acknowl- 
edges "the  authentic  treasures  of  truth  and  spirituality"  possessed  by 
non-Catholic  Christian  communions.  No  longer  is  Catholic  truth  per- 
emptorily juxtaposed  to  non-Catholic  error  with  no  prerogative  left 
to  the  erring  but  recantation  and  return.  Tokens,  signs  and  marks  of 
authentic  Christianity  are  conceded,  however  incomplete.  Moreover, 
if  only  truth  has  rights,  then  partial  truth  has  also  the  right  to  some 

Having  granted,  then,  elements  of  truth  and  godliness,  some 
signs  of  the  Spirit's  working,  in  non-Roman  communions,  there  is,  I 
believe,  in  the  Pope's  recent  statements  discreet  announcement  of  a 
willingness  to  enter  by  "serene  dialogue"  into  an  era  of  doctrinal 
discussion  and  theological  negotiation  looking  toward  "a  recom- 
position in  unity"  of  the  separated  communions  with  the  Catholic 
Church.  The  consummation  may  be  late  or  soon,  but  its  declared 
vehicle  is  dialogue  and  negotiation,  however  protracted.  It  is  not 
individual  conversion  but  communal  rapprochement  and  recomposi- 
tion based  upon  an  open  forum  of  free  give-and-take  and  not  only 
in  conversation  but  also  in  fellowship  of  common  prayer  and  com- 
mon social  action.  The  new  approach  was  so  plainly  set  forth  by 
Archbishop  J.  C.  Heenan  of  England  at  the  second  session  of  Vatican 

II  that  it  bears  quoting:  "The  ecumenical  dialogue,"  he  said,  "is  not 
undertaken  with  individual  souls  in  mind,  nor  in  order  to  gain  the 
better  of  an  argument.  The  dialogue  has  to  be  a  sincere  attempt 
to  understand  the  beliefs  of  our  separated  brethren.  It  must  also 
present  and  explain  Catholic  teaching  to  them.  It  is  a  coming  to- 
gether of  brothers,  not  an  encounter  of  enemies.  It  takes  place 
mainly  between  communities,  that  is,  between  the  Catholic  Church 
and  non-Catholic  Christian  churches  or  communities.  It  is  rooted  in 
mutual  trust  and  complete  charity." 

From  these  things  I  believe  we  may  perceive  that,  in  his  con- 
ception and  authorization  of  dialogue,  Paul  VI  has  provided  a  recog- 
nizable method  and  vehicle  of  ecumenical  endeavor  for  the  Catholic 


Church  in  its  thrust  toward  the  reunification  of  Christendom.  Not 
to  be  overlooked,  either,  are  many  open  doors  for  larger  development 
of  Catholic  thought  and  action  in  almost  every  conciliar  document 
of  the  Second  Vatican  Council.  Through  these  open  doors,  with  the 
instrumentality  of  dialogue — and  providing  the  present  temper  con- 
tinues— the  Catholic  Church  is  mounting  an  ecumenical  offensive  of 
very  great  potential  influence  and  power.  The  Church  manifests  an 
increasing  determination,  from  its  side,  to  change  radically  the 
climate  of  inter-confessional  relations.  Surely,  in  the  days  and  years 
ahead,  it  will  require  unforeseen  varieties  of  positive,  theologically  in- 
formed and  forthright  response  on  the  part  of  the  member  churches 
of  the  World  Council.  They  can  hardly  ignore  the  challenge  to  en- 
counter through  continuing  dialogue.  They  were  less  vulnerable 
with  Rome  in  self-imposed  isolation. 

II.   The  Conciliar  Decree  on  Ecumenism 

Turning  now  to  the  Council  documents,  what  is  their  import  for 
the  development  of  Catholic  ecumenism  ?  The  limit  of  time  forces  me 
to  be  very  selective.  The  ecumenical  import  of  the  already  promul- 
gated Constitution  on  the  Sacred  Liturgy  has  been  illuminated  by 
Father  Diekmann,  whose  role,  not  only  in  its  composition  but  in  its 
post-conciliar  implementation,  has  been  and  continues  to  be  de- 
servedly large.  From  the  Protestant  perspective,  I  would  underscore 
only  the  importance  of  its  pervasive  stress  upon  congregational 
participation  in  worship,  the  centrality  of  the  Bible  in  liturgy  as  a 
teaching  instrument,  and  the  indispensability  of  the  preached  Word 
to  illuminate  the  Church's  celebration  of  the  Word  in  sacrament. 
The  introduction  of  the  vernacular  will  do  more  to  demystify  and,  cor- 
respondingly, instruct  Catholic  worshippers  than  the  majority  of  the 
Council  fathers,  who  voted  for  it,  may  admit  publicly.  Obviously,  the 
attendant  adoption  of  the  Revised  Standard  Version  of  the  New 
Testament  by  the  American  hierarchy,  making  it  the  common  text  of 
American  Christians,  has  enormous  significance  and  will  be  the 
basis  of  unprecedented  communication  at  all  levels.  The  express 
recommendation  of  the  Schema  "On  Divine  Revelation"  that  the  Scrip- 
tures be  read  by  clergy  and  laity  is,  especially  with  reference  to  the 
latter,  an  unlocked  door,  capable  of  swinging,  one  would  judge, 
both  ways.3 

3.  De  Divina  Revelatione,  Council  Document  III,  25. 


A.    Catholic  Principles  of  Ecumenism 

Turning  attention  directly  upon  "De  Oecumenismo"  and  the  work 
of  the  Secretariat,  let  me  say  with  studied  reserve  that  the  work 
leading  to  the  preliminary  adoption  of  this  conciliar  document 
October  8,  1964,  was  discharged  with  fidelity  to  a  great  insight,  genius 
of  administration,  and  epoch-making  and  adroit  determination.  The 
Secretariat  itself  has  been  a  remarkable  working  team.  When  some 
day  the  story  can  and  will  be  told  about  the  Second  Vatican  Council, 
it  will  center  around  two  very  old  men  and  a  somewhat  younger  man, 
the  last  of  whom,  in  the  face  of  formidable  complexities  and  age- 
encrusted  tradition  managed  somehow  to  keep  faith  with  the  larger 
vision  he  had  received. 

John  XXIII  well  knew  that  to  open  the  Catholic  Church  to  both 
the  opportunity  and  challenge  of  Christian  unity  and  the  recovery 
of  initiative,  already  completely  lost  to  the  World  Council  of 
Churches,  required  new  and  radical  vision,  extraordinary  sagacity, 
and  a  totally  new  instrument  within  the  Church  itself.  Thus,  there 
came  into  being,  as  the  pivotal  and  nucleating  vehicle,  the  Secre- 
tariat headed  by  the  learned  Biblical  scholar,  Jesuit  educator,  and 
papal  counselor,  Cardinal  Bea.  As  confessor  to  Pius  XII,  Bea  knew 
more  about  the  captivity  of  the  Papacy  to  the  Curia  than  most  living 
men.  Affinity  there  was  between  his  authoritative  learning  and  under- 
standing and  the  spirit  of  John  XXIII. 

From  that  affinity  the  thrust  of  the  Council  toward  up-dating 
world  Catholicism  emerged.  It  emerged  against  the  resolute  op- 
position of  a  majority  of  the  inner  ruling  circle  of  the  Curia,  whose 
mentality  was  largely  unrevised  "counter-Reformation"  but  imple- 
mented by  the  anti-modernistic  decrees  of  the  nineteenth-century 
popes,  Syllabus  of  Errors  of  1864,  and  the  unrestricted  absolu- 
tism of  the  First  Vatican  Council.  If  Pius  IX  and  Leo  XIII  had 
denied  the  right  of  error,  freedom  of  conscience,  and  religious 
liberty,  for  the  conservatives  of  the  Curia  this  was  infallible  truth  and 
the  only  available  platform  of  Catholic  relations  with  non-Catholic 
Christians.  Christian  unity  could  mean  only  one  thing,  recantation 
and  allegiance  to  the  Pope.  In  politics,  Latin  Catholicism  had  never 
really  emerged  from  feudalism ;  and,  in  ecclesiology,  it  acknowledged 
no  effectually  saving  action  of  God  outside  the  Roman  Church.  Had 
not  the  Syllabus  of  Errors  condemned  even  the  moderate  and  humane 
surmise :  "We  may  entertain  at  least  a  well-founded  hope  for  the 
eternal   salvation   of  all   those   who   are   in   no  manner   in   the  true 


Church  of  Christ"  ?4  Ecumenism  could  mean  nothing  but  "return" 
to  Rome,  the  only  course  held  open  by  the  Dogmatic  Decrees  of  the 
First  Vatican  Council.5  What  to  Rome,  then,  was  the  significance 
of  the  twentieth-century  ecumenical  movement?  From  the  perspec- 
tive of  Vatican  I,  nothing  at  all. 

The  story  of  the  loosening  of  this  mental  straight- jacket  would 
be  a  long  one.  Its  outcome  and  eventuation  is,  perhaps,  formulated 
for  the  first  time  in  "De  Oecumenismo"  of  Vatican  II  and  reverberates 
in  the  Schema  "On  the  Church."  From  the  former  a  few  crucial  prin- 
ciples may  be  noted.  First,  interest  in  the  restoration  of  unity  is  in 
some  measure  "a  manifestation  of  a  fraternal  bond  existing  among  all 
Christians."  Secondly,  "the  spirit  of  compunction  and  longing  for 
unity"  manifested  among  Christians  separated  from  the  Catholic 
Church  is  a  work  of  divine  grace.  Third,  separations  from  full 
communion  with  the  Catholic  Church  issued  "not  without  the 
fault  of  people  on  both  sides."  Fourth,  the  validly  baptized  are  pos- 
sessed of  a  kind  of  communion,  though  not  perfect,  with  the  Catholic 
Church.  Fifth,  the  Holy  Spirit  is  the  Church's  principle  of  unity. 
This  is  to  be  noted  in  conjunction  with  the  sixth  point,  namely,  the 
life  of  grace,  faith,  hope,  charity,  and  other  internal  gifts  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  are  found  outside  the  visible  Church  among  the  separated 
Christians.  All  these  things,  it  is  said  proceed  from  Christ  and  lead 
to  Him,  all  of  them  belong  rightly  to  the  one  Church  of  Christ.  And, 
in  the  Schema  "De  Ecclesia,"  a  certain  real  connection  with  the  Holy 
Spirit  is  affirmed  of  non-Catholic  Christians.  The  Holy  Spirit  is 
"active  even  among  them  with  his  sanctifying  power."6 

This  is  a  long  way  from  the  theory  and  practice  of  counter- 
Reformation  popes :  that  dissent  from  the  doctrine  of  the  Church  is 
deserving  of  death.  Its  presiding  principle  is  that  separated  Chris- 
tians may  be  participant  also,  though  deficiently,  in  the  gifts  of  the 
Holy  Spirit,  the  Spirit  of  Christ.  They  are  invited  to  consider  the 
benefits  of  the  perfect  dispensation  of  grace  afforded  through  the  one 
divinely  authorized  and  truly  Apostolic  Church.  Yet  it  is  allowed 
that,  among  the  separated  communions,  "sacred  actions"  are  cele- 
brated that  "can  without  doubt  really  generate  the  life  of  grace." 
In  this  we  may  see  the  victory  of  empiricism  over  dogmatic  idealism. 
Dialogue  is  now  the  medium  of  communicating  the  excellency  of  the 
fullness  of  grace  of  which  non-Catholics  can  appropriate  but  a  por- 
tion.   Irenics  supersede  polemics,  but  it  is  not  a  deceptive  or  "false 

A.The  Vatican  Decrees,  P.  Schaff,  ed.,  New  York,  1875,  p.  113. 

5.  Ibid.,  p.  135. 

6.  De  Ecclesia,  Council  Document  II,  13. 


irenicism,"  for  behind  these  new  and  truly  advanced  positions  lies 
the  limitation  of  "doctrinal  exigencies"  which  Paul  VI  warns  the 
Church  has  not  the  power  to  modify.  Christ  entrusted  his  Church  and, 
therewith,  the  authorized  dispensation  of  his  saving  grace  to  the 
keeping  of  Peter  and  the  Apostles  and  their  divinely  empowered 
successors.  The  question  before  us  now  as  before,  perhaps,  is  that 
of  custodianship.  It  is  the  long-standing  ecumenical  question  of  the 
ministry  and  the  means  of  grace. 

B.   Of  Religious  Liberty 

The  declaration  on  religious  liberty  or,  as  its  subtitle  reads,  "the 
right  of  individuals  and  communities  to  freedom  in  matters  of  re- 
ligion" appeared  as  "Declaration  One"  appended  to  the  Schema  "On 
Ecumenism."  This  was  a  modification  adopted  by  the  Secretariat  in 
response  to  criticism  that  it  was  not  integral  to  a  statement  of  the 
principles  and  practice  of  Catholic  ecumenism.  In  the  1963  recension 
it  had  appeared  as  a  fifth  chapter.  Revised  by  the  Secretariat  be- 
tween the  second  and  third  sessions  of  the  Council,  it  was  introduced 
on  September  23,  1964,  by  Bishop  Joseph  DeSmedt  of  Bruges,  who 
had  also  presented  it  in  its  initial  form,  and  for  the  first  time,  No- 
vember 19,  1963. 

Summarizing  a  central  theme  of  the  declaration,  DeSmedt  as- 
serted that  "the  basic  foundation  of  religious  liberty  is  the  nature  of 
the  human  person  as  created  by  God.  The  right  to  religious  liberty 
rests  in  the  fact,  that,  under  the  guidance  of  his  conscience,  every 
human  person  must  obey  God's  call  and  will." 

In  his  initial  introduction  of  the  text  November  19,  1963,  Bishop 
DeSmedt  had  presented  four  reasons  why  many  Council  fathers  had 
insistently  demanded  that  the  Sacred  Synod  should  proclaim  the 
right  of  man  to  religious  liberty.  First,  the  Church  must  teach  and 
defend  the  right  to  religious  liberty  because  truth  is  committed  to  her 
care.  Second,  the  Church  cannot  remain  silent  when  half  of  man- 
kind is  deprived  of  religious  liberty  by  atheistic  materialism.  Third, 
today  in  all  nations  men  of  differing  religious  faith  or  no  faith  must 
live  together  in  the  same  human  society  at  peace.  Fourth,  many  non- 
Catholics  suspect  the  Church  of  duplicity  in  seeming  to  demand  re- 
ligious liberty  when  Catholics  are  in  the  minority  but  refusing  it 
when  Catholics  are  in  the  majority. 

Prefacing  his  remarks  with  this  compelling  candor,  DeSmedt 
went  on  to  define  religious  liberty  as  "the  right  of  the  human  person 
to  the  free  exercise  of  religion  according  to  the  dictates  of  his  con- 
science."  The  words  have  a  familiar  ring,  as  if  the  Pilgrim  Fathers 


were  redivivus  in  Rome  or  Roger  Williams  had  returned  to  receive 
plenary  indulgence  from  unlikely  quarters.  Religious  liberty,  nega- 
tively considered,  DeSmedt  declared,  "is  immunity  from  all  external 
force  in  man's  personal  relations  with  God  .  .  .  ."  DeSmedt's  relatio 
was  received  with  applause.  So  also  was  the  clipped  and  cogent  in- 
tervention of  Archbishop  Heenan,  now  a  cardinal,  on  behalf  of 
the  hierarchy  of  England  and  Wales.  "We  praise  and  unreservedly 
approve,"  he  said,  "the  proposals  of  this  Schema  on  religious  liberty." 
He  cited  the  statement  of  Pius  XII  that  "the  common  good  might 
impose  a  moral  obligation  in  what  are  described  as  Catholic  countries 
to  respect  the  freedom  of  other  religions."  The  world  is  small  to- 
day, Heenan  continued,  "and  the  internal  events  of  one  nation  have 
consequences  over  all  the  world."  For  the  sake  of  the  common  good 
freedom  of  religion  must  flourish  in  every  nation  of  the  world. 

The  offensive  had  been  adroitly  mounted.  An  effort  to  per- 
suade and  to  allay  the  reaction  of  conservative  prelates  from  Catholic 
countries  of  southern  Europe  was  evident.  At  that  juncture  the 
ground-swell  of  support  that  actually  emerged  was  not  by  any  means 
presumed  upon  by  the  Secretariat.  Plausible  as  might  be  DeSmedt's 
persuasive  view  that  religious  liberty  is  implied  in  the  very  act  of  faith 
as  unenforceable  response  to  a  supernatural  gift,  there  was  pervasive 
suspense  and  uncertainty.  The  Syllabus  of  Errors  of  1864,  in  con- 
demning "indifferentism,"  had  condemned  the  proposition  that, 
"Every  man  is  free  to  embrace  and  profess  the  religion  he  shall  believe 
true,  guided  by  the  light  of  reason."  True,  the  Declaration  states 
he  shall  now  properly  be  guided  by  "conscience,"  and  a  quite  different 
conception  of  man  is  envisioned.  But  religious  liberty  has  no  standing 
in  Catholic  countries,  and  the  Latins  did  not  easily  forget  that  Leo 
XIII  had  condemned  "liberty  of  worship"  as  "no  liberty,  but  its 
degradation"  unless  it  is  worship  which  God  has  plainly  revealed  and 
entrusted  to  the  Catholic  Church.7  Furthermore,  the  dogma  of 
Vatican  I,  "that  the  Roman  Pontiff,  when  he  speaks  ex  cathedra, 
that  is,  when  in  discharge  of  the  office  of  pastor  and  doctor  of  all 
Christians,  by  virtue  of  his  supreme  Apostolic  authority,  he  defines 
a  doctrine  regarding  faith  or  morals  to  be  held  by  the  universal 
Church,  .  .  ."8  is  possessed  of  infallibility,  complicated  the  situation. 
Religious  liberty  as  "the  right  of  the  human  person  to  the  free 
exercise  of  religion  according  to  the  dictates  of  his  conscience"  did 
not  immediately  appear  to  square  with  the  prevailing  understanding 

7.  Libertas  Praestantissimum  1888,  in  The  Church  Speaks  to  the  Modern 
World,  E.  Gilson,  ed.,  New  York,  1954. 

8.  Op.  cit.,  Dogmatic  Decrees,  p.  167. 


of  what  the  Church  had  taught  generally  and  some  pontiffs  of  the 
Church  in  particular. 

It  is  not  surprising,  therefore,  that  the  redoubtable  and  eloquent 
Cardinal  Ruffini,  archbishop  of  Palermo,  Sicily,  was  first  to  speak  to 
"vindicate  the  protection  of  the  common  law  of  our  holy  religion." 
He  supposed  it  gratuitous  to  exhort  Catholics  not  to  use  force  in 
effecting  conversions.  But  we  should  not,  he  declared,  confuse 
freedom,  which  appertains  to  those  possessed  of  truth,  with  tolerance 
which  must  certainly  be  patient  and  kind.  "Only  truth  has  rights, 
and  truth  is  one."  And,  recalling  Leo  XIII,  it  was  not  hard  to  see 
that  the  tradition  was  on  his  side.  Here  was  a  living  survivor,  flesh 
and  blood,  of  the  counter-Reformation,  in  the  afternoon  of  the 
twentieth  century. 

Such  a  view  as  this,  which  justified  the  Inquisition,  has  no  doubt 
served  well  to  repress  religious  liberty  of  conscience  for  centuries  in 
what  its  spokesmen  blandly  call  "Catholic  countries."  It  was  echoed 
by  prominent  representatives  of  Italian  and  Spanish  Catholicism 
such  as  Cardinal  Monreal  of  Seville,  Cardinal  Ottaviani,  the  arch- 
conservative  Dominican,  Cardinal  Michael  Browne,  and  Bishops  J. 
Abasolo  of  India,  Nicodemo  of  Bari,  Granados  of  Toledo. 

The  declaration  was  declared  a  novelty  in  its  substance  and  in 
contradiction  with  alleged  assertions  of  Pius  XII.  Ignored  was 
the  printed  documentation  of  the  decree  which,  in  support,  claimed 
the  authority  of  John  XXIII,  who  in  Pacem  in  Terris  had  declared : 
"Among  the  rights  of  men  this  too  is  to  be  reckoned,  that  he  can 
venerate  God  according  to  the  right  rule  of  his  conscience,  and 
profess  his  religion  privately  and  publicly;  to  this  right  corresponds 
the  duty  of  recognizing  it  and  cultivating  it ;  which  duty  is  incumbent 
upon  all  other  men,  especially  upon  those  in  charge  of  the  public  weal." 
John's  infallibility  was,  it  seems,  not  as  palatable  as  Leo's.  Even 
more  emphatically  than  Ruffini,  Granados  of  Toledo  declared  that  our 
traditional  doctrine  has  always  been  that  only  truth  has  rights  while 
error  is  treated  with  tolerance  if  this  is  required  in  the  interest  of  the 
common  good.  That  this  is  indeed  the  traditional  doctrine  of  Spanish 
Catholicism  few  will  doubt.  It  is  significant  that  important  represen- 
tatives of  Latin  American  Catholicism  did  not,  in  speaking,  support 
this  inquisitorial  line. 

The  bishops  of  the  United  States  stood  firmly  together  in  defense 
of  the  declaration  on  religious  liberty.  They  had  come  to  the  third 
session  prepared  so  to  do.  Leadership  was  given  by  both  Cardinals 
Meyer  and  Cushing.  The  colorful  oratory  and  unfettered  stance  of 
the  Cardinal  from  Boston  won  him  a  restrained  ovation  in  the  Aula. 


He  rejoiced  that  at  long  last  there  was  opportunity  for  full  and  free 
discussion  of  the  important  topic.  The  Catholic  and  non-Catholic 
worlds,  he  said,  are  waiting  for  this  declaration.  Taking  his  text 
from  the  Preamble  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  he  said  of  this 
declaration  on  religious  liberty :  "It  aims  to  safeguard  what  has 
well  been  called  'decent  respect  for  the  opinion  of  mankind.' "  The 
question  of  religious  liberty,  regarded  by  some  as  complicated,  is  in 
fact  simple.  It  has  a  twofold  aspect:  It  is  first  the  assertion  of  the 
freedom  of  the  Church,  that  is,  her  divine  right  to  achieve  her  spiritual 
end,  and  secondly  insistence  by  the  Church  on  this  right  for  every 
human  being.  John  XXIII,  declared  Cushing,  has  outlined  the  more 
cogent  reasons  demanding  this  declaration  on  religious  liberty.  With- 
out impugning  for  a  moment  the  Cardinal's  sincerity,  one  may  say 
that  it  was  a  politic  speech  both  politically  and  ecclesiastically. 

With  care  and  cogency  Cardinal  Meyer  defended  the  declaration 
as  conforming  to  the  teaching  of  modern  popes,  especially  of  John 
XXIII.  Moreover  it  is  "necessary"  to  assist  freedom  of  religion 
where  it  is  repressed,  to  insure  fruitful  ecumenical  dialogue,  to  assure 
to  others  what  we  claim  for  ourselves.  True  religion  is  the  volun- 
tary acceptance  of  the  will  of  God  apart  from  all  external  constraint. 
Experience  testifies  that  where  the  state  dominates  religion,  civic 
welfare  is  harmed,  whereas  civil  welfare  flourishes  where  religious 
freedom  is  enjoyed.  The  last  point  reflects  opinion  widely  shared  by 
the  American  hierarchy.  Among  the  American  bishops  one  may  also 
often  hear  the  view  expressed  that  where  religion  is  disestablished, 
religion  thrives ;  where  it  has  the  patronage  of  the  state,  it  languishes. 

The  implication  of  disestablishment  is  plain ;  it  is  religious  liberty 
for  all.  Thus,  the  issue  is  joined  within  world  Catholicism  between 
southern  European  Latin  Catholicism,  still  committed  to  the  figment 
of  "Catholic  countries,"  and  world  Catholicism  long  accustomed  to 
exist  and  propagate  itself  amidst  religious  and  cultural  pluralism. 
To  the  latter  group,  the  Leonine  articles  on  "liberty  of  worship" 
are  theoretically  untenable  and  anachronistic.  For  the  American 
hierarchy,  the  Church,  as  the  Schema  "On  Ecumenism"  declares,  is  a 
"pilgrim"  in  an  alien  world  and  better  for  the  challenge  this  entails. 
Latin  Catholicism,  nestling  in  the  false  security  of  state  establishment, 
still  seeks,  as  Cardinal  Rufini  proposed,  to  "vindicate  the  protection  of 
common  law  for  our  holy  religion." 

Here  again  is  a  basic  rift  in  contemporary  Catholicism  between 
those  who  have  learned  that  Christ  does  not  need  the  protection  of 
the  state,  and  those,  who  with  the  outlook  of  the  Middle  Ages,  would 
commandeer  the  succor  of  the  "civil  arm."    If  Catholicism  enjoys 


and  requires  state  protection,  then  religious  liberty  remains  a  matter 
of  toleration  under  law.  If  it  does  not,  then  the  Church  must  risk 
its  temporal  fortunes  on  the  cogency  and  verity  of  its  message  and 
life  in  a  pluralistic  society.  We  may  well  believe  that  to  enter  such 
a  society,  defenseless  save  for  "the  sword  of  the  Spirit"  and  "the 
breastplate  of  righteousness,"  is  a  part  of  what  John  XXIII  en- 
visioned in  his  program  both  of  inner  renewal  of  the  Church  and  the 
bringing  of  it  up-to-date  in  the  modern  world. 

We  may  perhaps  perceive  that  John  XXIII  was  the  first  Pope 
to  break  decisively  with  the  Constantinian  establishment  which  made 
Christianity  the  official  religion  of  the  Empire  and  which  has  con- 
trolled the  mind  of  Roman  Catholicism  for  fifteen  hundred  years. 
If  so,  he  created  a  new  era  and  deserves  the  title  of  first  modern  Pope. 
The  question  before  the  Second  Vatican  Council  concerning  re- 
ligious liberty  is,  therefore,  fateful  above  all  others.  Small  as  is  the 
document,  it  embodies  the  answer  to  the  question  posed  by  the  six- 
teenth-century Reformation  whether  the  Church,  in  discharging  its 
evangel  to  the  world,  shall  walk  by  faith  only  in  the  power  of  the 
Holy  Spirit  of  Christ  or  by  connivance  with  and  support  of  secular 
power.  Although  the  sixteenth-century  Reformers  did  not  always 
perceive  it  clearly,  the  import  of  sola  fide  was  equally  appropriate  to 
the  Church  corporately  as  to  the  believer  individually. 

To  some  within  the  Catholic  Church  who  sincerely  believe  that 
Peter  still  holds  the  power  of  the  keys,  it  has  become  painfully  clear 
that  this  power  can  be  enforced  in  the  modern  world  only  by  the 
"sword  of  the  Spirit."  This  is  the  underlying  theological  issue  in  the 
continuing  struggle  within  Vatican  Council  II.  A  powerful  and 
stubborn  minority  continue  to  resist.  It  is  very  evident  that  the  at- 
tempted subversion  of  the  declaration  through  the  office  of  the  Secre- 
tary General  of  the  Council  over  the  week-end  of  October  10-12, 
1964,  was  a  well  calculated  maneuver  of  desperation,  presuming  to 
circumvent  normal  conciliar  process. 

The  temper  of  the  Council  had  plainly  indicated  that  reactionary 
Latin  Catholicism  of  the  "Catholic  countries"  was  in  imminent  danger 
of  being  overwhelmed  by  a  majority  of  the  Council  fathers.  On  Sep- 
tember 25,  after  three  days'  debate  on  the  Declaration,  Cardinal 
Suenens,  the  Moderator,  proposed  a  standing  vote  on  the  oppor- 
tuneness of  closing  off  debate.  A  "vast  majority  of  the  Council 
fathers,"  according  to  the  official  record,  "declared  themselves 
favorable."  This  vote  remanded  the  document  to  the  Secretariat  for 
emendation  and  revision.  Fifteen  days  later  the  move  was  made, 
through  the  Secretary  General,  to  take  the  Declaration  out  of  the 


Secretariat's  hands,  placing  it  elsewhere  for  emendation  and  for  some 
suitable  disposition  not  wholly  clear.  It  was  then  that  a  group  of 
cardinals  in  company  with  the  dauntless  Cardinal  Frings  of  Cologne 
interposed  and  were  sustained  by  Paul  VI  in  their  insistence  upon 
due  conciliar  process. 

The  final  effort  at  obstruction  was  adroitly  timed  for  the  next  to 
last  general  congregation  of  the  third  session.  On  November  19 
came  the  vote  on  the  complete  text  of  the  epoch-making  Schema  "De 
Ecclesia,"  for  which  2,134  favorable  votes  were  cast  against  10  non 
placets.  The  announcement  was  received  with  recurring  applause 
by  the  fathers.  Thereafter,  announcement  of  the  final  vote  on  the 
morrow  "On  Ecumenism"  was  made  by  the  Secretary  General  as  the 
Schema  had  been  amended  and  revised  by  the  Secretariat  for  Chris- 
tian Unity,  including  the  altered  version  of  the  Declaration  on  Re- 
ligious Liberty.  Thereafter  the  most  dramatic  moment  of  the  Council's 
third  session  occurred. 

Cardinal  President  of  the  Council  Tisserant,  having  publicly 
consulted  his  colleagues  at  the  presidential  table,  announced  that 
several  members  of  the  Council  had  asked  for  further  time  to 
formulate  mature  judgments  before  being  called  upon  to  vote,  that 
the  new  text  of  the  Declaration  is  substantially  different  from  the 
previous  text  discussed  in  the  Council  Hall,  that  this  is  admitted  by 
the  Secretariat.  Accordingly,  it  has  been  felt  that  extra  time  should 
be  granted  and  that  the  concession  of  this  time  is  not  a  question 
that  can  be  decided  by  a  vote  of  the  Council.  Consequently,  after 
the  presentation  of  the  report  on  the  document  in  this  morning's 
General  Congregation,  there  would  be  no  vote  of  the  Council  on  the 
Declaration  on  Religious  Liberty. 

A  perceptible  sag  in  the  spirit  of  the  Council  issued  in  general 
consternation  and  erupted  into  a  conventicle  that  first  centered  around 
the  dismayed  Cardinal  Meyer  and  then  Father  Godfrey  Diekmann, 
O.S.B.  in  the  south  transept  of  St.  Peter's  as  Dean  W.  R.  Cannon 
of  Emory  joined  the  group.  Cardinal  Ritter  entered  the  discussion. 
A  crowd  of  bishops  and  periti  gathered.  Within  a  short  space  of  time 
a  petition  to  overrule  the  Council  Presidency  was  circulating  and 
gained  under  a  thousand  signatures.  The  response  of  Pope  Paul  VI 
to  the  representation  made  by  Cardinal  Meyer,  Ritter,  and  Leger  is 
common  knowledge.  He  decided,  and  probably  in  accord  with  due 
conciliar  process,  to  sustain  the  majority  decision  of  the  Presi- 
dents— however  close  it  doubtless  was — to  postpone  until  the  fourth 
session  of  Vatican  II  the  vote  on  Religious  Liberty.  It  was  a  critical 
and  tough  decision  to  make,  but,  in  fidelity  to  conciliar  process  and, 


indeed,  to  the  principle  of  collegial  responsibility  and  rights  the  Pope's 
decision  was  unavoidable.  On  the  succeeding  day,  the  127th  and 
final  General  Congregation,  Cardinal  Tisserant  took  notice  of  the 
great  disappointment  of  a  number  of  Council  fathers,  and  in  the  name 
of  His  Holiness,  informed  the  Council  that  the  Council  Presidency 
had  agreed  to  the  request  of  postponement  advanced  by  certain  Council 
fathers,  that  "this  request  had  to  be  honored  and  conformably  according 
to  the  Council's  procedural  rules."  He  assured  the  Council  that  the 
Declaration  on  Religious  Liberty  will  come  up  for  discussion  and  vote 
in  the  next  session  of  the  Council  and,  if  possible,  will  have  priority 
on  the  agenda.  At  the  moment,  this  is  the  last  word  on  the  fate  of 
religious  liberty  in  so  far  as  it  rests  in  the  power  of  the  Second  Vatican 

III.  Ecumenical  Prospects  in  Summary 

In  May  1964  the  Secretariat  on  Religious  Liberty  of  the  World 
Council  of  Churches  issued  a  memorandum  evaluating  the  Declara- 
tion on  Religious  Liberty  as  revised  for  presentation  to  the  fourth 
session  of  Vatican  II.  It  concluded  that  in  spite  of  some  shortcomings 
regarding  the  criterion  of  limiting  religious  liberty  the  new  draft  is 
"satisfactory."  It  was  added  that,  if  approved  by  the  Council 
without  major  changes,  "it  will  notably  improve  the  ecumenical  climate 
and  the  relationship  between  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  and  other 
Christians."  This  last  judgment  hardly  needs  reinforcement.  The 
Secretariat  for  the  Promotion  of  Christian  Unity  early  came  to  a  like 
conviction.  It  was,  as  we  have  seen,  openly  stated  by  DeSmedt  on 
occasion  of  the  Declaration's  initial  public  presentation  to  the  Council 
in  November  1963.  Subsequently,  the  ecumenical  import  of  the  Decla- 
ration was  echoed  and  re-echoed  in  conciliar  discussion.  This  in  part 
accounts  for  the  consternation  of  many  Council  fathers  over  further 
delay  in  vote  and  promulgation. 

Meanwhile,  the  final  approval  of  the  Schema  "On  Ecumenism"  was 
given  at  the  127th  General  Congregation  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council 
and  the  final  one  of  the  third  session.  Of  the  2,129  votes  cast,  2,054 
were  affirmative,  64  negative,  6  approved  with  proposed  changes,  and 
5  were  null.  This  was  a  momentous  victory  attained  over  a  long, 
thorny,  arduous  way,  conceived  in  the  spirit  of  John  XXIII  and  exe- 
cuted with  imperturbable  moral  fidelity,  wisdom  and  Christian  under- 
standing by  the  Secretariat  under  Augustine  Cardinal  Bea. 

After  the  successful  vote  on  the  fourteen  sections  of  the  three  prin- 
cipal chapters  of  the  Schema  "On  Ecumenism,"  continuing  October  5 
through  8,  1964,  the  Secretariat  gave  a  reception  for  the  observers. 


It  was  in  many  ways  a  celebration.  And  nothing  could  be  more  ap- 
propriate than  celebration  among  those  who  had,  in  this  sphere,  become 
by  now  colleagues.  There  was  cause  for  mutual  rejoicing  and  no  more 
felicitous  way  could  have  been  found,  nor  one  of  greater  ecumenical 
and  Christian  tact,  than  for  the  Secretariat  to  share  its  rejoicing  with 
the  "separated  brethren,"  for  a  deeper  unity  with  whom  it  had 
valiantly  labored. 

In  sharing  his  reflections  with  the  assembled  company,  Cardinal 
Bea  said,  "the  very  fact  that  the  vote  was,  one  can  say,  morally 
unanimous  is  a  motive  for  deep  joy  and  great  hope.  In  effect,  more 
than  98%  of  the  conciliar  Fathers  who  were  present  and  voted  ap- 
proved the  Schema  ....  This  result  surpassed  by  far  even  the  most 
optimistic  hopes  which  we  could  have  imagined  but  two  years  ago. 
This  unanimity  gives  evidence  that  for  the  future  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church,  through  its  highest  and  most  qualified  representatives,  is 
completely  engaged  in  fostering,  with  all  its  strength  the  unity  of  all 
those  who  believe  in  Christ  and  are  baptized  in  Him."  Then  alluding 
to  "the  inevitable  difficulties"  the  further  work  of  the  Secretariat 
"will  undoubtedly  encounter,"  he  gave  utterance  to  what  one  may  well 
believe  is  the  unfailing  source  of  his  greatness  as  the  leading  Catholic 
ecumenical  statesman  of  his  day :  "God's  manner  of  proceeding  in  the 
work  of  Redemption  consists  precisely  in  being  triumphant  by  means 
of  difficulties  and  despite  the  insufficiency  of  his  instruments  and  their 
weakness,  'in  order  to  show  that  the  transcendent  power  belongs  to 
God  and  not  to  us.'  "  If  I  may  venture  a  wild  surmise  it  is  just  this 
transcendent  power  of  God,  which  Bea  honors  above  the  defensive 
tendency  to  domesticate  it,  that  has  made  him  the  chief  architect  of 
Catholic  ecumenism  and  launched  the  Catholic  Church  upon  a  way 
whose  outcome  is  not  known  to  men. 

Whatever  else  might  be  said,  if  time  permitted,  would,  I  think, 
only  and  manifestly  come  to  this :  It  is  now  time  for  non-Catholic 
Christianity  to  awake  to  the  challenge  which  will  issue  from  the  Second 
Vatican  Council.  It  is  not  a  challenge  that  can  be  ignored.  It  will 
require  searching  and  thoughtful  response.  The  "Catholic  principles 
of  ecumenism"  will  have  to  be  faced,  not  alone  by  the  World  Council 
of  Churches,  but  by  the  member  bodies.  The  Catholic  Church  is  now 
surely  on  the  ecumenical  offensive,  and  in  defining  how  it  stands  with 
reference  to  us,  it  will  force  us  to  define  with  greater  precision  than 
has  been  our  wont  how  we  stand  with  reference  to  it. 

After  four  centuries  of  mutual  distrust,  remoteness,  and  the  virtual 
non-existence  of  communication  between  Catholicism  and  the  Prot- 
estant Churches  of  the  West,  the  Catholic  Church  has  broken  the 


silence  as  well  as  the  ice,  and  taken  the  initiative.  It  addresses  us 
with  an  invitation  to  friendly  dialogue  in  the  atmosphere  of  restored 
Christian  fellowship  and  without  obscuring  the  differences  between 
us.  Sooner  or  later  even  in  this  citadel  of  Protestantism,  the  American 
South,  we  shall  have  to  acknowledge  that  we  are  spoken  to  and  that 
a  new  situation  in  World  Christianity  requires  responsible  answers. 
We  shall  be  faced  with  some  decisions,  and  what  decisions  we 
make  will  be  for  us  an  occasion  of  judgment.  It  is  just  barely  pos- 
sible, or  so  it  seemed  to  me,  that  this  was  the  reason  that  prompted 
someone  to  decide  to  hold  the  meeting  of  the  observers  with  the  Pope 
in  the  Sistine  Chapel  that  late  September  afternoon.  We  are  always 
confronted  by  the  Divine  judgment,  for  judgment  is  incident  to  the 
decisions  we  make  in  life,  in  the  history  of  Church  and  of  nations. 
Michelangelo's  fresco  sets  before  the  eyes  this  inescapable  truth  of 
existence  in  matchless  line  and  unforgettable  color.  What  we  must  not 
fail  to  realize  is  that  today  we  are  faced  with  the  beginnings  of  a 
new  era  in  Christian  history.  When  I  returned  to  Rome  this  past 
September,  I  was  prepared  for  disappointment  with  reference  to  the 
Council's  fidelity  to  the  vision  of  John  XXIII.  I  returned  from  the 
Council  with  the  conviction  that,  despite  great  obstacles,  the  Council 
has  been  able  to  lay  the  groundwork  for  a  renewal  of  Catholicism 
and,  therewith,  the  beginnings  of  a  new  era  of  ecumenism  that  will 
inevitably  implicate  us  all. 


Discourse  of  the  Holy  Father  to  the  Observers  at  the  Third  Session 
of  the  II  Vatican  Council  (September  29,  1964) 

Gentlemen,  beloved  and  venerable  brothers ! 

( 1 )  This  new  meeting  of  your  group  with  the  Bishop  of  Rome, 
successor  of  the  Apostle  Peter,  on  the  occasion  of  the  Third  Session 
of  the  Second  Ecumenical  Vatican  Council,  is  a  new  motive  for 
spiritual  joy,  which  We  like  to  believe  to  be  reciprocal.  We  are  made 
happy  and  honoured  by  your  presence;  and  the  words  just  now  ad- 
dressed to  Us  give  assurance  that  your  feelings  resemble  Ours.  We 
feel  the  necessity  of  expressing  Our  gratitude  to  you  for  the  favourable 
reception  accorded  Our  invitation,  and  for  your  attendance,  with  such 
dignity  and  edification,  at  the  conciliar  Congregations.  The  fact  that 
our  mutual  satisfaction  over  these  repeated  meetings  of  ours  shows  no 
signs  of  fatigue  or  disappointment,  but  is  now  more  lively  and  trusting 
than  ever,  seems  to  Us  to  be  already  an  excellent  result;  this  is  a 
historic  fact ;  and  its  value  cannot  be  other  than  positive  in  regard  to 
the  supreme  common  aim,  that  of  full  and  true  unity  in  Jesus  Christ. 
An  abyss,  of  diffidence  and  scepticism,  has  been  mostly  bridged  over ; 
this  our  physical  nearness  manifests  and  favours  a  spiritual  drawing- 
together,  which  was  formerly  unknown  to  us.  A  new  method  has  been 
affirmed.  A  friendship  has  been  born.  A  hope  has  been  kindled. 
A  movement  is  under  way.  Praise  be  to  God  Who,  We  like  to  believe, 
"has  given  His  Holy  Spirit  to  us"  (I  Thess.  iv.  3). 

(2)  Here  we  are,  then,  once  again  seeking,  on  one  side  and  on 
the  other,  the  definition  of  our  respective  positions.  As  to  Our  posi- 
tion, you  already  know  it  quite  well. 

(a)  You  will  have  noted  that  the  Council  has  had  only  words 
of  respect  and  of  joy  for  your  presence,  and  that  of  the  Christian 
communities  which  you  represent.  Nay  more,  words  of  honour,  of 
charity  and  of  hope  in  your  regard.  This  is  no  small  matter,  if  we  think 
of  the  polemics  of  the  past,  and  if  we  observe  also  that  this  changed 
attitude  of  ours  is  sincere  and  cordial,  pious  and  profound. 

(b)  Moreover,  you  can  note  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  dis- 
posed towards  honourable  and  serene  dialogue.  She  is  not  in  haste, 
but  desires  only  to  begin  it,  leaving  it  to  divine  goodness  to  bring  it 
to  a  conclusion,  in  the  manner  and  time  God  pleases.  We  still  cherish 
the  memory  of  the  proposal  you  made  to  Us  last  year,  on  an  occasion 


similar  to  this ;  that  of  founding  an  institute  of  studies  on  the  history 
of  salvation,  to  be  carried  on  in  a  common  collaboration  ;  and  We  hope 
to  bring  this  initiative  to  reality,  as  a  memorial  of  our  journey  to  the 
Holy  Land  last  January ;  We  are  now  studying  the  possibility  of  this. 

(c)  This  shows  you,  Gentlemen  and  brothers,  that  the  Catholic 
Church,  while  unable  to  abandon  certain  doctrinal  exigencies  to  which 
she  has  the  duty  in  Christ  to  remain  faithful,  is  nevertheless  disposed 
to  study  how  difficulties  can  be  removed,  misunderstanding  dissi- 
pated, and  the  authentic  treasures  of  truth  and  spirituality  which  you 
possess  be  respected ;  how  certain  canonical  forms  can  be  enlarged  and 
adapted,  to  facilitate  a  recomposition  in  unity  of  the  great  and,  by  now, 
centuries-old  Christian  communities  still  separated  from  Us.  It  is 
love,  not  egoism,  which  inspires  Us :  "For  the  love  of  Christ  impels 
us"  (II  Cor.  v.  14). 

(d)  In  this  order  of  ideas,  We  are  happy  and  grateful  that  Our 
Secretariat  for  Unity  has  been  invited,  on  various  occasions,  to  send 
observers  to  the  conferences  and  meetings  of  your  Churches  and  your 
organizations.  We  will  gladly  continue  to  do  this,  so  that  Our 
Catholic  organizations  and  Our  representatives  may,  on  their  side, 
acquire  a  knowledge,  corresponding  to  truth  and  to  charity,  which  are 
a  prerequisite  of  a  deeper  union  in  the  Lord. 

(3)  As  for  you,  Gentlemen  and  brothers,  We  ask  you  kindly  to 
continue  in  your  functions  as  sincere  and  amiable  observers ;  and  to 
this  end,  not  to  content  yourselves  with  a  simple  passive  presence, 
but  kindly  to  try  to  understand  and  to  pray  with  Us,  so  that  you  can 
then  communicate  to  your  respective  communities  the  best  and  most 
exact  news  of  this  Council,  thereby  favouring  a  progressive  drawing- 
together  of  minds  in  Christ  Our  Lord. 

In  this  regard,  We  would  ask  you  now  to  bring  to  your  communi- 
ties and  to  your  institutions  Our  thanks,  Our  greetings,  Our  wishes 
of  every  good  and  perfect  gift  in  the  Lord. 

All  this,  you  can  see,  is  only  a  beginning ;  but,  in  order  that  it  may 
be  correct  in  its  inspiration,  and  fruitful  one  day  in  its  results,  We 
invite  you  to  conclude  this  meeting  of  ours  by  the  common  recitation 
of  the  prayer  which  Jesus  taught  us:  the  "Our  Father." 

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The  Duke  Divinity  School  Review 
by  Harriet  V.  Leonard 
Reference  Librarian 



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For  Christian  Unity 

We  thank  thee,  Father,  for  the  life  and  knowledge  which  thou  hast 
granted  us  through  Jesus,  thy  Servant : 

Glory  be  to  thee  for  ever  and  ever. 
We  thank  thee,  Father,  for  thy  holy  name  which  thou  hast  hidden  in 
our  hearts ;  for  the  knowledge,  faith  and  immortality  which  thou  hast 
granted  us  through  Jesus,  thy  Servant : 

Glory  be  to  thee  for  ever  and  ever. 
We  thank  thee,  Father,  for  the  call  to  prayer  for  the  unity  of  thy 
Church,  for  all  who  are  called  by  the  inspiration  of  thy  Holy  Spirit 
to  devote  themselves  to  the  cause  of  unity : 

Glory  be  to  thee  for  ever  and  ever. 
In  the  presence  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  let  us  repent  and  confess  our 
sins  against  unity : 

For  the  little  importance  that  we  have  given  to  this  word  proceeding 
from  thy  heart,  "Other  sheep  I  have  which  are  not  of  this  fold;  them 
also  I  must  bring ;  they  shall  hear  my  voice.  .  .  ." 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  our  controversies,  sometimes  full  of  irony,  narrow-mindedness  or 
exaggeration  with  regard  to  our  Christian  brethren,  for  our  intran- 
sigence and  harsh  judgments, 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  all  the  violence  which  we  have  been  guilty  of  directing  in  the  past 
and  even  today  against  our  Christian  brethren, 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  all  restrictive  measures  unjustly  taken  against  them, 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  all  self-sufficiency  and  pride  which  we  have  shown  to  our  Christian 
brethren  over  the  centuries  and  for  all  our  lack  of  understanding 
towards  them, 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  all  those  things  in  our  conduct  and  example  by  which  we  have 
obstructed  our  own  witness  and  hindered  the  work  of  unity  among  our 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
For  our  neglect  of  frequent,  fervent  and  brotherly  prayer  for  them, 

We  beseech  thee  to  pardon  us,  0  Lord. 
May  the  Holy  Spirit  guide  our  prayer  for  unity  towards  Jesus  and 
the  Father :  Beyond  the  frontiers  of  language,  race  and  nation, 

Unite  us,  Lord  Jesus; 
Beyond  our  ignorances,  our  prejudices  and  our  instinctive  enmities, 

Unite  us,  Lord  Jesus; 
Beyond  our  intellectual  and  spiritual  barriers 

Unite  us,  Lord  Jesus.      Amen. 




1-  -^ 



Spring  1965 

A  Commencement  Prayer 

Eternal  God,  all-glorious,  all-holy,  whose  quality  of  mercy  we 
have  known,  with  whom  in  daily  labors  we  have  walked,  we  humbly 
kneel  in  spirit  before  Thee  in  adoration  and  praise. 

In  special  convocation  we  have  gathered  here — teacher,  student, 
parent,  wife,  brother  and  sister  and  friend — in  the  joyous  bonds 
of  mutual  affection  and  in  the  recognition  of  this  high  hour  in  the 
life  of  men  and  women  whom  Thou  hast  called  unto  holy  service. 

Our  hearts  are  thankful  for  the  trust  and  duty  which  we  have 
been  permitted  to  bear  in  these  years.  We  are  grateful  for  the 
sympathy  and  understanding  of  all  who  have  given  support  and 
strength  in  difficult  days,  and  for  those  who  have  inspired  a  joyous 
song  of  faith  and  faithfulness.  So  together  in  grateful  praise,  yet 
each  in  the  sanctuary  of  his  own  heart,  we  offer  unto  Thee  our  grati- 

Unto  Thee,  O  Lord,  we  come  with  special  petition  for  spiritual 
power,  that  we  may  fulfill  our  service  well  in  Thy  sight.  We  stand 
tonight  upon  a  threshold  of  duty,  poised  for  fuller  opportunity  and 
challenge ;  yet  not  in  our  own  wisdom  and  strength  shall  we  be  equal 
to  the  task,  but  in  Thee  and  Thee  alone  we  have  our  trust. 

Forbid  that  we  become  subservient  to  the  voice  of  worldly  counsel ; 
keep  us  to  our  consecration  within  eternal  wisdom.  Raise  us  up, 
O  Lord,  as  prophets  in  the  proclamation  of  Thy  truth,  as  voices  in 
the  declaration  of  Thy  will,  as  ministers  in  the  exemplification  of 
Thy  love. 

Receive  now  our  solemn  commitment  unto  Thee,  our  joyous  dedi- 
cation to  Thy  service.  Let  us  henceforth  be  found  forever  faithful 
to  Thy  truth,  and  forever  assured  that  Thou  whose  we  are  and 
whom  we  serve  art  God  indeed.    Amen. 

Kenneth   W.   Clark 



Volume  30  Spring  1965  Number  2 


A  Commencement  Prayer,  by  Kenneth  W .  Clark Inside  Cover 

The  Critical  Temper  and  the  Practice  of  Tradition 83 

by  Ray  C.  Petry 

Toward  the  Renewal  of  Faith  and  Nurture — III 97 

by  McMurry  S.  Richey 

Toward  the  Renewal  of  Corporate  Worship 131 

by  Jackson  W.  Carroll 

The  First  and  the  Last,  by  Charles  L.  Rice 137 

The  Dean's  Discourse,  by  Robert  E.  Cushman 142 

Focus  on  Faculty,  by  Harry  B.  Partin 147 

Looks  at   Books 149 

Published  three  times  a  year  (Winter,  Spring,  Autumn) 

by  The  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University 
in  continuation  of  The  Duke  Divinity  School  Bulletin 

Postage  paid  at  Durham,   North   Carolina 

The  Critical  Temper  and  the 
Practice  of  Tradition 

Ray  C.  Petry 

The  subject  of  my  address  is  "The  Critical  Temper  and  the 
Practice  of  Tradition."  This  title  may  suggest  the  ruminations  of  a 
crotchety  old  man  set  in  his  ways.  What  I  propose  is  a  reassessment 
of  the  living  fabric  of  our  very  existence.  My  approach  will  be  his- 
torical by  instinct  and  confessional  in  nature.  You  will  not  expect 
me  to  oversimplify  either  confession  or  history. 

Let  me  present  first  the  last  part  of  my  subject.  The  controversial 
word,  tradition,  is  at  root  the  very  antithesis  of  a  crystallizing  pro- 
cess. Tradition  implies  the  action  of  handing  over  or  transmitting 
a  deposit  already  committed  for  delivery,  the  act  of  presenting  or 
surrendering  something  to  another.  Presumably,  one  may  "hand 
off"  in  the  wrong  way  or  place  the  deposit  in  the  wrong  hands. 
Traditores,  or  early  Christian  traitors,  did  precisely  that. 

Christian  history  no  less  than  football  is  replete  with  good  and 
bad  passes  from  center.  There  are  bullet-like  aerials  and  wobbly 
forwards,  broken  carries  and  open  field  runs,  swivel-hipped  jaunts 
and  "piled-up"  receivers.  Brilliant  passers  are  sometimes  "swarmed 
under"  before  they  can  get  the  ball  away.  Lonesome  ends  frequently 
have  too  much  company.  Goal  line  stands  nullify  long,  down-field 
marches.  Occasionally  there  are  grievous  penalties  and  plays  called 
back.  Not  infrequently  the  ball  is  fumbled,  booted,  or  tossed  away. 
The  sports  field  and  the  Christian  arena  both  know  well  facilitated 
transmission  and  stalled  tradition.  If  I  mix  history  with  athletics, 
it  is  not  because  I  am  especially  fond  of  big-time  sports,  any  more 
than  St.  Paul  was.  I  merely  note  a  grim  irony.  Some  people  who 
cheer  tradition  in  the  stadium  cannot  differentiate  an  "offside"  penalty 
from  a  touchdown  play,  when  these  occur  in  the  jerky  propulsion  of 
Christian  history. 

Such  history  unfolds  in  direct  relation  to  the  living  transmission 
of  deposits  of  the  faith.  These  are  the  exercises  of  worship,  the 
proclamation  of  the  good  news,  the  handing  down  of  instruction,  the 
projecting  of  precious  beliefs  and  customs,  as  well  as  the  investing  of 
all   capital   stock   of   the   spirit.    We   are   prone   to   say   that   Jesus 

The  annual  Faculty  Lecture,  delivered  on  April  21,  1965.    (See  p.  142.) 


"blasted"  tradition.  What  he  actually  did  was  to  "blast  off"  by- 
way of  genuine  tradition  when  pesudo-tradition  was  stalled.  The 
parable  of  the  talents  is  a  commentary  on  tradition :  the  miserly  pro- 
tection of  assets  at  the  cost  of  non-investment,  or  risk-taking  ad- 
vance by  way  of  varying  degrees  of  commitment. 

I  am  fully  aware  that  my  Biblical  exegesis  and  my  highly  per- 
sonalized translations  are  often  the  despair  of  students  and  professors. 
Yet  I  have  the  strong  feeling  that,  if  we  can  quote  the  words  of 
Jesus  with  exactitude  and  not  be  reminded  of  something  that  has 
just  happened  in  the  family  field  of  action  or  on  the  hearth  of  the 
soul,  we  are  in  the  "fix"  where  the  disciples  often  found  themselves. 
We  are  still  puzzling  out  the  signals  when  the  whistle  registers  the 
end  of  the  play,  down  field. 

Obviously,  tradition  involves  both  deposit  and  transmission,  a 
receiving  and  passing  on  of  a  cherished  legacy — not  just  faking  with 
empty  hands.  Practicers  of  the  Christian  tradition  must  join  the 
hand-and-heart  brigade  that  relays  the  bequests  of  the  faith  down 
through  the  historic  ages.  In  a  sense,  my  very  phrase,  the  practice 
of  tradition,  is  tautological.  A  tradition  that  is  not  practiced  is  not  a 
tradition.  Jesus  makes  this  point  for  many  good  people.  They  can 
talk  a  knot  out  of  a  board  fence,  but  all  they  convey  is  stale  air  set 
in  motion  through  an  embarrassed  knothole.  Of  such  people  Jesus 
said,  "Practice  what  they  preach  but  don't  imitate  what  they  do — 
or,  more  often,  don't  do."  A  doctor  has  a  practice  only  when  he 
practices.  A  true  tradition  involves  an  infinitely  variable  applica- 
tion of  procedures  to  purposes,  of  means  to  ends.  The  subtle  factors 
involved  in  the  Christian  tradition  include  the  discovery  and  appro- 
priation of  transmissible  content,  also  the  well-articulated  receptivity 
that  transforms  butter-fingered  fumbling  into  close-knuckled  handing 
on.  There  must  also  be  poised  retentiveness  until  the  moment  and 
the  method  join  for  explosive  or  subtly  nuanced  transmission.  All 
of  this  requires  a  nice  combination  of  free  wrist  action  and  well- 
belted  viscera.  Necks  should  be  more  suited  to  bending  than  to 

Put  in  automotive  terms,  tradition  calls  for  a  flexible  power 
train,  good  torque  to  the  wheels,  a  firm  suspension  and  adequate 
room  for  people  and  luggage.  Roaring  exhausts  and  screaming  tires 
are  for  young  exhibitionists  and  old  fools.  But  I  forget.  Many  of 
you  don't  know  any  more  about  cars  than  you  do  of  church  history. 
That  compounds  the  felony  of  inexcusable  ignorance.  According  to 
Divinity  School  statistics,  some  here  have  closer  liaison  with  the 
begetting,    carrying,    delivering,    nurturing,    and    being    educated   by 


babies  than  with  any  other  endeavor.  Good  enough !  Here  is  tradi- 
tion indeed :  deposit,  transmission,  and  much  more.  I  can  just 
hear  some  of  you  chortling  that  this  is  where  you  are  proved  authori- 
ties, whereas  the  old  professor  is  a  bumbling  ignoramus.  This  could 
be  two  mistakes  for  you  in  just  two  tries. 

I  often  had  to  care  for  my  infant  brother.  This  was  research 
for  which  I  had  not  registered.  All  the  findings  were  unscheduled 
and  rather  uniformly  disheartening.  Decades  later,  in  a  moment  of 
low  respiration,  I  promised  a  friend  to  baby-sit  for  her  one-year-old 
boy.  She  and  my  wife  needed  to  get  out  for  just  a  half  hour — or  so 
they  said.  That,  my  friends,  was  a  historic  occasion.  Tradition  never 
limped  more  haltingly  than  then.  That  little  monster  was  universal 
history  in  kit  form.  He,  personally,  recapitulated  Adamic  disaster 
with  full  millenial  overtones.  He  seemed  happiest  when  at  his  worst. 
He  was  a  loose  package  of  spontaneity  sharing  his  all  with  me.  My 
wife  and  friend  returned  hours  later  when  the  baby  and  I  were 
in  extremis.  Far  from  offering  help,  they  broke  into  unrestrained 
laughter.  My  wife,  who  knew  her  English  Bible  as  well  as  some 
Anglo-Saxon  and  considerable  Latin,  settled  for  a  blasphemously 
irrelevant  citation  about  "one's  putting  his  hand  to  the  plow  and  not 
looking  back."  What  I  had  hold  of  was  no  plow.  I  would  gladly 
have  exchanged  my  squirming  complex  of  soft  incoordination  for 
the  steel  plow-share  of  my  rural  boyhood.  The  most  infuriating  thing 
of  all  was  not  that  I  didn't  get  my  wife's  point  but  that  I  did. 
Sometimes,  in  the  midst  of  violated  nerves  and  spiritual  rebellion, 
one  has  to  finish,  alone,  the  task  he  has  begun,  no  matter  how  many 
other  hands  may  lend  assistance  or  withhold  their  aid. 

I  have  read  afresh  with  sharpened  anguish  in  these  recent  months 
those  quietly  implacable  words  of  Jesus:  "He  that  putteth  his  hand 
to  the  plow  and  looketh  back  is  not  fit  for  the  Kingdom  of  God." 
But  how  can  one,  by  himself,  keep  the  plow  cutting  deep  and  true 
in  the  furrow  of  tradition  where  two  pairs  of  hands  once  steadied 
the  forward  thrust?  Often,  in  my  boyhood,  I  have  seen  a  farmer 
take  a  quick  look  back  to  note  if  his  furrow  were  straight.  Just  then 
the  plow  hit  an  obstruction,  jumped  from  the  furrow  and  dragged  him 
off  course.  Will  God  in  His  mercy  help  us  to  the  end  of  the  furrow 
if  we  look  resolutely  ahead?  May  He  not,  perhaps,  delegate  a  loved 
one  out  of  the  burgeoning  church  triumphant  to  help  beckon  us  on 
unswervingly  to  the  far  end  of  the  field? 

Down  through  Christian  history  the  deposits  of  faith  and  love 
made  by  Jesus  have  been  delivered  in  a  practicing  tradition.  His  was 
the  genuine  tradition  received  of  God  and  placed  in  the  keeping  of 


Christ's  followers.  All  graces  delivered  to  him  by  the  Father  have 
been  passed  on  to  us  for  unfaltering  delivery  by  us  against  that 
Great  Day.  How  poignantly  on  that  night  in  the  Upper  Room  were 
the  cup  and  the  bread  delivered  unto  his  disciples,  to  be  perennially 
recommitted  through  the  faithful  until  he  should  come  again !  How 
ringingly  the  plow  popped  from  the  furrow  when  Judas  the  traditor 
practiced  tradition  by  betrayal  with  a  kiss !  How  tragically  Peter 
fumbled  the  commission  of  his  Lord,  only  to  recover  it  bravely  and 
recommit  it  to  eternity ! 

But  how  can  there  be  any  practice  of  the  true  Christian  tradition 
without  continuously  invoking  the  critical  temper?  To  the  naive  and 
unsophisticated,  to  be  critical  is  to  be  negative  and  petulant,  if  not 
worse.  Yet  the  very  terms,  both  Greek  and  Latin,  on  which  genuine 
criticism  is  based  convey  the  sense  of  exercising  careful  judgment, 
of  being  exact  and  nicely  judicious  in  one's  continuing  assessment  of 
behavior  and  experience.  Being  a  true  critic  means  being  able  to 
judge  and  discern  with  propriety  and  cogency.  What  is  needed  is 
one  who  can  express  reasoned  opinions  and  experienced  wisdom  on 
any  matter  involving  judgments  of  value,  Tightness,  truth,  and 
beauty.  Weighing  historically  and  critically  a  live  or  eviscerated  tra- 
dition calls  for  judicial  estimates  and  decisions,  hence  the  capacity  to 
comprehend   and   expound  what  worths   and  verities   are   at   stake. 

The  practice  of  the  Christian  tradition  comes  down,  finally,  to 
our  truly  critical  appraisal  and  discerning  appropriation  of  it.  Just 
as  there  is  no  tradition  without  the  practice  of  it,  so  there  is  no 
practice  of  tradition  without  the  proper  application  of  the  validly 
critical  temper.  The  divining  and  empowering  exercise  of  that  in- 
dispensable critique  is  made  available  to  us  in  the  Gospel.  Hebrews 
4:12  puts  it  thus:  "For  the  message  (or  Logos)  of  God  is  a  living 
and  active  force,  sharper  than  any  double-edged  sword,  piercing 
through  soul  and  spirit,  and  joints  and  marrow,  and  keen  in  judging 
the  thoughts  and  purposes  of  the  mind."  The  judging  and  discern- 
ing here  invoked  is,  in  the  Greek  and  Latin,  the  very  critique  sup- 
plied by  the  well  tempered  Gospel.  Here  is  a  finely  tempered  blade 
nicely  fired  and  honed  to  the  will  of  the  Eternal  and  to  the  dedicated 
resources  of  the  human.  Here  the  laminated  structure  of  human 
tradition  must  be  forever  separable  and  renewable  by  the  all-dis- 
cerning and  unifying  Word  of  Truth. 

Jesus  nicely  embodied  this  dividing  and  distinguishing  Word  in 
his  historic  pastorate.  He  explicated  it  in  his  every  testimony  to 
the  Father's  initiative  and  the  Spirit's  ministry.  The  integrity  of  the 
true  godly  tradition  was  spelled  out  by  him  in  every  differentiating 


circumstance  of  resolve  and  dedication.  His  historic  Word  like 
his  cosmic  Lordship  was  found  to  be  an  incising  blade  that  opened 
festering  sores.  It  was  a  healing  knife  that  separated  truth  from 
error,  good  from  evil,  pose  from  innocence. 

Repeatedly,  his  delivery  of  the  Father's  Word  registered  the 
practice  of  authentic  tradition.  This  was  in  contradistinction  to  the 
rotting  fabric  of  fake  tradition  upon  which  men  prided  themselves. 
"You  hypocrites,"  he  said,  "for  the  sake  of  your  tradition  you  con- 
trol the  private  plays  that  insulate  the  message  of  hope  from  the 
hearts  of  men.  The  cup  that  should  be  filled  and  passed  on  to  the 
corporate  edification  is  polished  until  it  gleams  outside,  even  while 
decay  multiplies  within.  Woe  to  you  academic  professionals,  whose 
proud  fundaments  lop  over  the  elevated  seats  of  the  mighty.  Actually, 
you  are  like  graves  that  swallow  life  rather  than  reservoirs  that 
release  it.  Your  conception  of  passing  on  the  Father's  grace  is  to 
load  some  poor  soul  with  burdens  that  oppress  his  spirit  and  stall 
his  delivery  of  the  Father's  commission  of  love.  You  have  taken 
away  the  key  of  knowledge.  You  are  too  proud  to  enter  the  King- 
dom yourselves,  yet  you  block  the  passageway  to  it  for  those  who 
yearn  to  find  it."  Jesus  thus  passed  judgment  on  the  malpractice  of 
tradition.  He  indicted  broken  transmission  and  violated  deliverance. 
His  was  a  pure  critique  and  an  oh-so-practical  judgment  of  a  rup- 
tured tradition. 

All  judgment  has  been  given  by  the  Father  to  the  Son.  The 
Logos  is,  Himself,  the  model  and  the  resource  for  those  who  would 
exercise  true  discernment  in  the  practice  of  the  Christian  tradition. 
To  be  skilled  in  judging  is  to  be  an  honest  critic  of  tradition  while 
practicing  it.  One  needs  first,  and  always,  to  practice  the  presence 
of  God.  This  is  to  take  the  deliberate  risk  of  examining  critically 
under  the  species  of  eternity  who  we  are  and  what  we  do,  while  we 
are  being  and  doing  it.  To  be  over-preoccupied  with  self-examina- 
tion, however,  is  to  let  the  chisel  of  indecision  jump  into  our  sinews 
and  cut  the  nerve  of  action.  Not  to  examine  and  discern  the  nature 
of  our  being  and  doing  is  to  reduce  all  our  days  to  the  nicety  of 
accumulated  shavings. 

My  father  was  a  good  carpenter  as  well  as  a  competent  elec- 
trician and  a  discomfiting  preacher.  Once  he  was  holding  an  auger 
in  his  lap.  That  was  no  place  to  perforate  a  board.  He  got  careless 
and  the  revolving  point  chewed  deep  into  his  groin.  My  mother 
despaired  of  his  life,  but  he  lived  to  run  power  saws  according  to, 
and  across,  the  grain,  for  the  making  of  a  productive  tradition.    If 


he  were  to  come  into  this  room  today,  I  would  walk  out  proudly 
with  him,  whatever  visiting  dignitary  might  be  waiting. 

More  recently  a  fourteen-year-old  friend  of  mine  doing  shop 
work  sawed  off  the  end  of  his  finger.  Looking  foolishly  at  it  where 
it  fell,  he  wondered  if  it  might  not  possibly  belong  to  someone  he 
knew.  He  replaced  the  bone  in  the  pocket  of  flesh  and  took  it  along 
to  the  hospital.  The  surgeon  sewed  it  back  on.  The  bone  knit 
tightly.  Today  there  is  a  little  white  circle  to  show  where  the  tradi- 
tion staggered  and  resumed  its  way.  Both  my  father  and  this 
youngster  learned  that  dynamics  need  tempering  with  judicious  di- 
rection. The  Gospel  that  we  so  blithely  aim  at  the  untutored  can 
skip  into  our  own  vitals  and  drain  out  all  the  marrow  from  our 
bones.  Or,  we  may  get  self-conscious  over  deliveries  and  end  wheels 
up,  heads  down  in  the  ditch. 

I  well  remember,  as  a  boy,  teasing  my  mother  to  come  out  and 
watch  me  ride  my  new  bike.  Then  I  begged  her  to  suggest  an 
itinerary  for  me.  "Go  down  to  Grandpa's,"  she  said.  "What  shall 
I  take  along,"  I  replied.  "Just  get  yourself  there,"  she  retorted.  But 
I  persisted.  She  handed  me  a  jar  of  butter  and  a  packet  of  sac- 
charine. Off  I  wobbled,  balancing  the  butter  and  sampling  the  sac- 
charine. She  got  critical.  I  lost  my  temper.  My  unsecured  trousers 
caught  in  the  sprocket.  The  tradition  was  interrupted.  My  fist  landed 
in  the  butter;  the  idly  spinning  wheels  landed  atop  me  in  the  ditch. 
Reviewing  my  pilgrim's  progress,  she  had  several  observations  to 
make — all  critical  and  strongly  Biblical. 

There  was  another  occasion  when  the  critique  of  tradition  erupted 
from  a  five-months-old,  nineteen-pound  infant  I  was  carrying.  She 
was  Sally  Jane,  my  grand  niece  from  Colorado.  I  plucked  her 
off  the  Indiana  plane  at  O'Hare  field  snuggled  in  what  my  wife 
habitually  termed  a  sugar  scoop.  She  fitted  that  thing  like  wet  feet 
in  a  cheap  pair  of  new  shoes.  She  peered  at  my  beard  out  of  the 
silkiest  lashes  I  have  ever  seen  on  a  female  involvement,  young  or 
less  young.  We  walked  a  mile  or  two,  I  thought,  and  she  held  her 
fire,  flirting  and  cooing  to  set  me  up  for  the  kill.  Then  we  had  dinner. 
I  bought  her  mother  a  steak  and  I  had  some  soup.  Since  the  first 
of  the  year  I  have  become  a  connoisseur  of  soups  and  custards. 
We  propped  Sally  Jane  up  between  us.  I  tried  to  administer  her 
bottle  with  my  left  hand  while  I  sipped  spasmodically  with  my 
right.  But  my  delivery  arm  sagged,  and  she  sucked  air.  She  dug  a 
well-flexed  foot  into  my  ribs.  I  sprayed  soup  like  bug  killer  in  June. 
Her  mother  choked  on  her  steak.  After  that  I  kept  the  pipe  line 
open,  while  Sally  Jane  eyed  me  warily,  as  good  critics  will. 


Later,  we  set  out  for  another  mile,  by  my  pedometer,  to  the  end 
of  the  terminal.  Sally  Jane  "had  had  it."  I  scorned  carrying  her 
over  my  shoulder  like  tail-end  kids  in  an  overloaded  station  wagon. 
So  I  bore  her  transverse  to  traffic — and  protestingly  recumbent. 
She  couldn't  "burp"  in  that  position,  and  my  arms  ached  with  making 
history.  Just  then  she  let  out  a  shrill  wail  like  a  supercharger  on 
an  old  Duesenberg.  Mothers  in  Israel  doubled  up  laughing — out 
loud,  I  suppose,  though  I  couldn't  hear  anything  but  Sally  Jane. 
Sleeping  sailors  slid  off  benches  and  poured  below  decks  like  water 
suddenly  released  in  a  stopped-up  sink.  Sally  Jane's  mother,  whom 
I  used  to  minister  to  when  she  was  a  very  little  girl  herself,  strode 
along  beside  us  offering  such  comfort  as  she  could.  "Don't  let  this 
bother  you,  Uncle  Ray,"  she  shouted.  "It's  nothing  personal.  She's 
tighter  than  a  tick  and  she  hates  not  seeing  where  she's  just  been  or 
where  she's  going.  She'll  exercise  her  lungs  'till  she's  tired.  Then 
she'll  'burp,'  if  you  let  her,  and  go  fast  asleep.  You'll  see."  Which 
I  did,  in  a  bleary  sort  of  way,  when  I  had  delivered  her  to  the 
Denver  jet.  She  "burped"  ecstatically,  yawned  like  a  camel,  shook 
the  tears  out  of  her  ears,  fluttered  her  lashes  forgivingly  and — slept 
like  a  baby.  Here,  then,  was  live  tradition  indeed :  something  beyond 
price  accepted  for  delivery  out  of  the  past  and  handed  on  in  faith 
to  the  future.  And  a  realistic  critique  went  with  the  tradition  prac- 
ticed. The  impact  was  Biblical :  a  luminous  page  of  history  footnoted 
to  Heilsgeschichte. 

There  are  many  ways  of  practicing  the  Christian  tradition.  One 
may  live  it  confessionally.  He  may  argue  for  it  logically  and  philo- 
sophically. He  may  contend  for  it  as  a  true  martyr  apologist.  Who 
could  be  foolish  enough  not  to  sing  it  liturgically  ?  Perchance  one 
needs  to  reexamine  and  restate  it  theologically.  Ought  he  not  in- 
volve himself  in  it  vicariously,  by  way  of  history  and  poetry?  Pre- 
sumably he  could  preach  it  and  teach  it.  He  might  make  it  breathe 
more  freely  in  art  than  in  syllogisms.  But  discern  it,  critically,  he 
must.  In  terms  of  it,  all  his  living  "yeas"  and  "nays"  must  be  reg- 

Jesus  was  always  a  sharp  cross-examiner.  He  demanded  that  his 
witnesses  renounce  sheer  equivocation.  You  might  say  that  he  re- 
minded them  of  being  under  oath  not  to  swear.  He  taught  them  not 
to  reiterate  vainly,  but  valiantly  to  affirm.  One  had  to  face  up  to 
"yes"  and  "no."  Not  that  he  made  a  fetish  of  these  words  as  such. 
None  knew  better  than  he  that  an  over-simplified  "yes"  often  means 
"no"  and  a  facile  "no"  sometimes  ends  up  as  "yes." 

My  mother  frequently  asked  me  if  I  wished  to  help  her  by  mind- 


ing  the  baby;  to  which  I  said  "yes."  Later  she  invariably  inquired 
if  I  had  irritated  my  brother;  to  which  I  testified  "no."  I  lied  both 
times.  He  often  put  me  through  ordeal  by  blackmail.  That  is,  to  get 
his  way  he  regularly  held  his  breath  until  he  was  an  indigo  blue. 
I  waited  each  time  until  I  feared  he  had  expired.  Then  I  prayed  God 
to  let  him  get  back  his  breath,  for  which  boon  I  offered  to  do  any- 
thing my  brother  desired.  Hearing  this  commitment,  the  darling 
infant  would  recover  his  wonted  color  and  ease  off  into  an  instan- 
taneous respiratory  calm.  In  retaliation,  I  loved  to  wheel  him  over 
a  bumpy  crevice  in  the  walk  where  a  little  water  pipe  demurely  lay 
not  quite  flush  with  the  concrete  track.  Blissfully  trundling  him  along 
I  appeared  sacrificially  devoted  to  his  every  wish.  Suddenly  he 
would  become  enraged.  That  pipe  triggered  a  vibration  in  his 
sternum  that  registered  in  his  voice  box.  There  was,  to  him,  a 
noticeable  break  in  his  tradition.  My  mother  finally  deduced  the 
unusual  incidence  between  one  spot  in  our  trajectory  and  the  simul- 
taneously generated  wrath  of  my  brother.  She  investigated.  Then 
she  brought  swift  self-knowledge  to  the  seat  of  my  conscience. 

Sometimes  it  is  truly  difficult  to  make  unequivocal  answer  to  the 
enigmatic  gospel  Word.  There  is  such  a  thing  as  denial  by  affirma- 
tion. Judas  betrayed  Jesus  with  a  kiss.  So,  too,  there  is  affirmation 
from  deep  inside  denial.  Peter  outlived  his  betrayal  of  the  Lord 
with  a  living  death  and  a  deathless  life.  In  Jesus'  parable  one  said 
"no"  to  a  father's  call,  but  practiced  "yes."  Another  said  "yes,  to 
be  sure,"  but  rendered  up  a  living  refusal.  Some,  Jesus  said,  would 
meet  him  one  day  saying,  "Lord,  Lord,  how  nice  to  see  you  again. 
Remember  when  we  met  at  Eden  Rock  in  the  symposium  on  the 
Judeo-Christian  tradition?"  To  which  he  would  reply,  "I  never 
set  eyes  on  you  in  my  whole  life."  Periodically,  one  needs  to  sink  the 
nail  of  dedication  without  a  vain  flurry  of  blows.  My  father  used 
to  wince  while  I  worried  a  nail  home.  The  tortured  surface  of  the 
board  reminded  him  of  a  baby's  bed  made  up  by  an  elephant.  There 
is  a  place  and  a  time  for  a  surcharged,  unequivocal  "yes"  or  "no." 
Again  the  gospel  alternator  registers  both  "yes"  and  "no."  There  is 
no  betrayal  quite  like  an  oversimplified  affirmative  or  negative.  On 
occasion,  the  subliminal  spirit  records  a  double  negation  or  a  dual 
affirmation;  as  when  one  barters  away  Christ  and  neighbor  in  the 
same  breath,  or  embraces  both  almost  unaware  in  ministry  to  the 
least.  The  tradition  of  sic  et  non  is  not  exclusively  that  of  Abelard, 
or  Gratian,  or  Thomas.  It  is  integral  with  a  critical  assessment  of 
the  whole  Christian  tradition. 

Ours  is   the  privileged   duty  of  applying  the  critical  temper  to 


daily  enterprise.  We  come  to  the  moment  of  truth  quickest  at  one 
specific  juncture.  This  is  where  the  Christian  commitment  via  the 
well-tempered  Gospel  discerns  the  living  paradoxes  of  the  historic 
faith.  The  Gospel  penetrates  between  the  marrow  and  joints  of  four 
seemingly  contradictory  roles  of  historic  Christian  service.  The 
evangelical  critique  cuts,  first,  like  a  healing  knife  between  Ministry 
and  Primacy.  Second,  it  slices  to  the  bone  between  layers  of  Sta- 
bility and  Wayfaring.  Third,  it  neatly  divides  the  word  of  truth 
between  Regularity  and  Secularity.  Fourth,  the  Gospel  blade  dis- 
engages and  reknits  the  sinews  of  Vicariousness  and  Curacy.  Put  in 
terms  of  our  profession  of  Divinity,  these  embarrassing  paradoxes  of 
the  Christian  tradition  hold  us  in  agonizing,  historic  suspension.  We 
emerge  now  as  Ministerial  Primates ;  again  as  Stable  Wayfarers ; 
not  least  as  Regulated  Seculars ;  finally  as  Ailing,  Vicarious  Physi- 

Jesus  loved  to  insist  that  he  came  not  to  be  ministered  unto  but 
to  minister.  For  him,  primacy  in  ministry  put  the  least  first  and  the 
first  last.  Christian  history  records  perpetual  embarrassment  over 
the  unanimity  with  which  Christians  agree  to  this  on  principle  but 
bungle  it  in  practice.  A  Ministerial  Primate  is  something  of  a 
cross  between  a  Dachshund  and  a  Great  Dane.  His  rear  quarters 
are  an  illustrated  lecture  on  humility,  fit  to  go  through  a  low  wicket. 
His  front  end  can  stand  erect  in  nothing  less  than  a  lofty  cathedral. 
A  Ministerial  Primate  hints  eloquently  of  a  historic  contradiction. 
A  primate  is  an  original  who  has  primacy  or  precedence.  To  people 
who  protest  that  this  is  no  way  to  prove  servitude  he  may  explain 
that  all  his  advanced  degrees  are  in  humility.  Then  he  runs  the  risk 
of  having  some  poor  soul  take  him  at  his  word.  Church  history 
could  almost  be  summed  up  in  terms  of  such  upstanding  lowdown- 

There  are  some  ministers  who  take  refuge  in  their  historical 
primitivity.  One  can't  be  upbraided,  surely,  for  being  a  primary, 
underived,  pristine,  aboriginal  Christian.  But  genuine  primitives  have 
always  been  a  rather  jumpy  lot,  whether  people  or  works  of  art. 
Frequently  they  have  no  more  sophisticated  rationale  than  Grandma 
Moses  or  the  Twelve  Apostles.  At  state  functions  some  of  the 
disciples  were  always  getting  up  just  when  others  were  sitting  down. 
It  will  take  quite  a  spate  of  Ph.D.  dissertations  to  make  clear  to  us 
just  what  Grandma  Moses  thought  she  was  doing.  We  are  now 
waiting  on  the  computer  to  get  an  authoritative  list  of  St.  Paul's 
publications  before  we  can  credit  him  with  them  properly  in  his 
Festschrift.   As  for  unquestioned  originals,  personal  or  artistic,  many 


of  them  are  now  proving  to  have  been  fakes.  A  recent  court  case 
involving  Stradivarius  violins  and  the  penalty  for  copying  them  ended 
in  a  mistrial.  Some  of  the  instruments  used  for  normative  refer- 
ence turned  out  to  be  twentieth-century. 

Actually  some  people  prefer  resplendent  copies  to  worn  originals, 
literary  or  human ;  or  even  smudged  mimeographs  to  primary  texts 
or  plates,  whether  in  literature,  art  or  hierarchy.  There  are  oc- 
casional churchmen  who  say,  "What  need  to  prove  ministry  if  you 
have  rank?"  Others  retort  that  there  is  no  need  to  test  status  if  one 
offers  genuine  ministry.  But  what  actually  constitutes  ministerial 
authenticity  and  spiritual  primacy?  One  can  say  all  the  right  words, 
do  all  the  proper  things,  and  still  be  a  "phony."  Again,  one's  accent 
may  embarrass  everyone,  his  actions  may  humiliate  his  brethren, 
and  the  Lord  may  recognize  him  as  a  true,  untouched  original.  Try 
too  hard  to  be  pristine  and  you  may  be  merely  antiquated.  Rely 
on  sophisticated  advice  and  you  may  end  up  with  Simon  Magus. 

A  piece  of  twelfth-century  sculpture  depicts  St.  Peter  looking 
calmly  on  while  Simon  tries  his  first  solo  flight.  When  the  Great 
Magician  crashes,  Peter  isn't  even  gloating.  He  has  already  flunked 
out  of  flying  school  himself.  Perhaps,  if  we  only  understood  the 
proper  role  of  hierarchy,  we  could  all  settle  down  to  work  again. 
But  that  term  can  mean  priest  craft,  and  that's  a  "dirty  word." 
Even  our  Roman  Catholic  brethren  vacillate  between  being  happy 
that  they  have  hierarchy  and  feeling  distressed  at  the  thought  that 
it  may  have  them.  The  fact  is  that  Jesus  critically  subjected  every 
would-be  minister  to  the  daily  practice  of  a  paradoxical  tradition. 
Such  crisis  testimony  was  deliverable  only  with  the  aid  of  the 
marrow-proving  Gospel.  Professional  primates  are  available  only 
at  a  terrible  cost  in  marked  down,  ministerial  good  news.  Perhaps 
what  we  need  is  a  desegregated  clergy  that  can  share  both  ministry 
and  primacy  with  a  newly-commissioned,  responsible  laity. 

Our  embarrassment  knows  no  abatement  when  we  examine  our 
historic  role  as  Stable  Wayfarers.  We  have  often  brought  rhetorical 
tears  to  literary  eyes  with  glib  talk  about  our  being  colonists  of 
heaven,  those  manning  advance  space  stations  for  the  Kingdom  of 
God.  There  are  people  who  think  colonialism  of  any  kind,  perhaps 
even  the  ecclesiastical,  has  finally  gone  out  of  style.  St.  Augustine 
of  Hippo  puzzled  quite  a  few  construction  engineers  in  his  day.  He 
claimed  Biblically  that  our  foundations  are  in  heaven,  though  we 
help  build  an  interim  city  upon  them  while  here  below.  The  Chris- 
tian viator  tradition  seems  good  only  for  indirect  lighting  upon  the 
more    realistic    space    programs    of    the    U.S.A.    and    the    U.S.S.R. 


Everybody  votes  for  stable  flight  inside  space  ships  or  outside.  But 
Pilgrim  Citizens !  Who  can  build  a  community  chest  around  them  ? 
And  Hobo-Settlers!  Who  wants  them  to  open  a  suburb?  A  Squat- 
ter is  a  Squatter — for  a'  that.  Besides,  emigres  are  always  munching 
sandwiches  and  leaving  crumbs  in  the  powder  room.  Is  not  the 
viaticum  chiefly  for  dying  people  ?   Whereas  we  are  in  love  with  life. 

That  a  Christian  eschatology  is  the  clue  to  all  worthwhile  social 
thought  and  action  is  hardly  a  thesis  to  make  books  sell.  I  know 
one  such  work  that  was  taken  off  the  publisher's  list  just  before  my 
wife  died.  Now  I  must  re-read  it  to  see  what  I  once  wrote,  as  if 
I  understood  it,  before  she  embarked  on  her  final  flight.  One  day  in 
February  she  complained  to  me  about  the  bumpiness  of  an  old  DC3 
we  were  flying  from  Purdue  to  Chicago.  Yet,  when  in  Duke  Hospital, 
on  February  18,  I  bid  her  fair  passage  to  the  Father's  House  and 
all  the  kinfolk  above,  she  made  no  complaint.  She  spoke  no  word 
at  all.  She  had  already  committed  herself  in  full  obedience  to  the 
heavenly  vision.  She  had  long  since  booked  her  passage  and,  I 
trust,  received  confirmation  of  her  reservation.  The  ceiling  was 
unlimited.  Before  God,  I  believe  that  the  rudder  of  her  pilgrim 
creed  held  true  and  the  fuselage  of  her  tradition  sailed  clean  and 
whole  into  that  far  port.  Yes,  our  very  stability  is  in  our  journeying 
itself.  But  our  mobility  must  and  will  not  be  domesticated,  overmuch. 
Viators  all,  we  have  not  been  grounded  like  exiles  from  heaven. 
Rather,  as  those  in  the  world  but  not  of  it,  we  journey  with  sublime 
patriotism  to  a  beloved  homeland.  Orbiting  a  while  in  temporal 
climes,  we  confidently  prepare  for  reentry  to  our  native  atmosphere. 
Ars  moriendi  et  vivendi:  the  art  of  dying  and  living — it  is  all  one. 
This  is  what  we  assure  people  with  whom  we  sorrow,  as  those  not 
without  hope.  Can  we  as  a  profession  sing  the  viator's  victory  song? 
A  number  of  you  sang  it  with  me  not  long  ago.  While  our  eyes 
rained  tears,  our  hearts  pumped  the  lifeblood  of  Christian  triumph. 
Tears  also  have  their  part  in  critically  tempering  our  practice  of  the 
Stable  Wayfarer's  tradition.  They  help  wash  away  the  impurities 
that  becloud  our  vision,  the  self-pity  that  compromises  our  discern- 
ment. Sorrow  is  the  nighttime  bed  of  temporal  pain  from  which 
eternal  joy  arises  in  the  morning. 

A  disdainful  reviewer  once  compared  what  he  deemed  my  literary 
obfuscations  with  the  confused  dithyrambs  of  the  Pseudo-Dionysius 
on  the  Celestial  Choirs.  Yet  may  not  the  Great  Areopagite  be,  even 
now,  a  first  desk  man,  or  even  concert  master,  under  the  Head  Con- 
ductor in  Heaven's  Orchestra  Hall?  If  so,  I  know  who  makes  and 
tunes  his  wood  winds  and  attends  every  rehearsal  without  fail :  my 


grandfather,  who  used  to  fashion  willow  whistles  for  me  in  my  boy- 
hood spring. 

So,  living  as  we  do  in  two  worlds  simultaneously,  our  paradox- 
ical tradition  is  critically  attuned  to  both  Regularity  and  Secularity. 
We  are  Regulated  Seculars,  other-worldly  men  and  women  firmly 
placed  and  commissioned  in  this  world.  The  seventeenth  chapter  of 
St.  John's  Gospel  is  an  aging  church  historian's  recommended  read- 
ing for  his  fraternal  colleagues,  both  faculty  and  student.  Nowhere 
is  the  humanly  impossible  demand  of  Jesus  rendered  so  divinely 
feasible  as  here.  For  almost  thirty-five  years  I  have  taught  classes 
on  ancient  and  medieval  church  history,  on  monasticism  and  mysti- 
cism, on  contemplation  and  action,  and  on  many  things  critically 
theoretical  enough  to  be  truly  practical.  Ironically  yet  logically 
implanted  in  this  historic  tradition  has  been  the  instinct  that  calls 
for  a  secular  clergy  who  would  not  be  dictated  to  by  the  world,  and 
for  a  regular  clergy  who  would  not  be  isolated  from  it.  The  seven- 
teenth chapter  of  John  is  the  constitution  of  those  regulars  who  are 
the  men  for  the  ages.  These  are  the  truly  regular  fellows  disciplined 
from  beyond,  for  service  in  this  seculum. 

It  has  scarcely  ever  been  wise  for  true  clerics  to  be  "hail  fellows 
well  met."  We  always  walk  a  tight  rope  between  looking  and  acting 
like  everyone  else  and,  on  the  other  hand,  distinguishing  ourselves 
right  out  of  the  human  race.  One  may  absolutize  ephemeral  things 
and  the  life  of  the  age  until  regulation  is  lost  and  the  ages  lie  hidden 
from  contemporary  eyes.  So,  too,  one  may  externalize  the  cult, 
in  church  as  anywhere  else,  until  the  broken  bread  of  Christ  lies 
bloating  on  a  deserted  window  ledge  where  St.  Francis  once  found  it. 
Meanwhile,  men  expire  for  want  of  that  true  viaticum  throughout 
the  world.  Men  for  the  ages  dare  not  settle  for  being  sergeants  of 
the  day.  Neither  may  they  chant  their  nostalgic  lays  "far  from  the 
madding  crowd."  Perhaps  there  is  only  one  sufficient  repulse  for  a 
blatant  secularity  that  invades  the  church.  This  may  be  a  true 
Christian  secularity  that  dares  help  regularize  the  world  anew  under 
God's  Providential  Eye.  Maybe  the  only  cure  for  suburbia  is  a 
phalanx  of  the  urbs  aeterna  propagandizing  without  a  highly  glossed 
portfolio  in  the  urbs  terrena.  This  could  be  genuine  urban  renewal. 
It  could  well  require  a  kind  of  church  sowed  like  grain  in  the  fallow 
fields  of  the  world,  a  church  never  yet  seen,  save  in  the  retina  of  the 
Master's  eye. 

And  so,  at  last,  we  come  to  our  critical  role  as  Vicarious  Curates 
and  Ailing  Physicians.  "The  art  of  arts  is  the  cure  of  souls,"  as 
Pope  Gregory  reminds  us.    This  is  no  issuance  of  an  easy  nostrum. 


Curacy  in  the  Christian  tradition  has  always  meant  vicariousness. 
By  ironic  inflection,  a  vicar  may,  in  the  exigencies  of  localized  history, 
have  been  thought  of  as  a  mere  stand-in  for  a  curate.  Yet  curacy  in 
the  ancient  sense  has  ever  been  a  synonym  for  true  vicariousness. 
Of  Jesus  it  was  truly  said,  in  jest  as  in  awe :  "He  saved  others,  let 
him  save  himself;  himself  he  cannot  save."  Truly  this  was  so. 
Curacy  is  always  paid  for  in  vulnerability.  Jesus  incensed  his  fol- 
lowers by  asking  who  had  just  touched  him  in  a  crowd.  With  a 
security  problem  like  theirs,  they  were  asked  for  statistics  on  who 
nudged  whom!  "No,"  said  Jesus,  "I  really  mean  it.  Someone  touched 
me,  for  strength  has  gone  out  of  me."  A  trembling  woman  con- 
fessed. She  had  helped  sap  his  vigor.  And  he  blessed  her  for  it. 
"Ailing  physicians  are  you  all,"  the  world  often  says  in  satirical  jest. 
Yet,  seriously  enough,  none  can  heal  another  without  depleting  his 
own  privileged  sanitas.  His  health  must  be  drained  for  the  blood 
banks  of  the  world. 

On  occasion,  Jesus  sent  forth  his  disciples  to  heal.  Sometimes 
they  came  back  exultant.  "We  gave  the  devils  fits,"  they  said  one 
time.  "We  snapped  our  fingers  and  everything  worked."  Another 
time,  what  a  difference !  "What  went  wrong,"  they  moaned.  "Noth- 
ing happened.  The  devils  merely  smirked."  Jesus  replied,  "That 
kind  of  demon  can  be  exorcised  only  by  prayer  and  fasting,"  and, 
as  he  commented  elsewhere,  "by  dying  oneself  into  the  peoples'  life." 
Expendability  is  the  clue.  To  reserve  oneself  is  to  lose.  To  invest 
oneself  is  to  win,  forevermore.  The  Christ  would  have  no  part  of 
esoteric  practitioners  or  non-practicing  uninvolved  physicians.  Re- 
laxed Aesculapians  were  not  for  him  or  his.  Away  with  super-sanitary 
healers.  Avast  pastoral  cure  without  a  care,  therapy  without  curacy. 
Of  course  he  was  equally  set  against  professional  hand-holders,  the 
healing  claque  of  unctuous,  side-saddle  diagnosticians.  His  art  was 
one  of  complicated  simplicity :  the  one  old  cure  of  heart  for  heart, 
diagnosed  and  prescribed  for,  afresh,  for  every  man,  woman,  and 
child.  Small  wonder  that  he  felt  virtue  go  out  of  him,  or  that  his 
own  medicine  wore  out  when  he  needed  it  for  himself.  His  death 
alone  could  serve  for  others'  life.  His  rising  energized  their  resur- 
rection. The  healing  herbs  he  sowed  flowered  for  all  who  hurt 
enough  and  cared  enough  to  claim  the  unique  cure.  How  cold  the 
Gospel  scalpel  to  the  warm  flesh !  How  frozen  in  death  the  spirit,  to 
which  the  Logos  knife  comes  late ! 

There  is  no  easy  palliative  that  can  parry  the  intricate  paradoxes 
of  the  Christian  tradition.  Yet  contradiction  there  is  none  for 
Christ's  followers :  for  those  who  seek  in  Him  the  resolution  to  the 


riddle  of  Ministerial  Primates,  the  open  secret  of  Stable  Wayfarers, 
the  equipoise  of  Regulated  Seculars,  the  Vicarious  Curacy  of  Ailing 

There  is  no  history  without  dynamic  tradition,  no  tradition 
without  unremitting  practice,  no  practice  without  the  nicely  judged 
and  discerning  application  of  the  critical  temper.  "For  the  message 
of  God  is  a  living  and  active  force,  sharper  than  any  double-edged 
sword,  piercing  through  soul  and  spirit,  and  joints  and  marrow,  and 
keen  in  judging  the  thoughts  and  purposes  of  the  mind."  The  Logos- 
tempered  blade  cleaves  a  straight  and  narrow  wound  of  life  down 
through  the  anguished  spasms  of  historic  time.  Only  the  practicing 
confessors  of  a  dynamic  tradition  dare  invite  the  healing  surgery 
of  such  an  agape  knife.  God  grant  that  we  be,  indeed,  in  the  van 
of  the  truly  critical  temper.  This  instrument,  alone,  is  gospel  forged. 
It  permits  the  ministerial  practice  of  an  historically  authentic  Christ- 
ian tradition. 

Toward  the  Renewal  of 
Faith  and  Nurture—Ill1 

McMuRRY    S.    RlCHEY 

In  a  preceding  article  on  H.  Shelton  Smith's  Faith  and  Nurture, 
we  viewed  him  as  a  Jeremiah  among  the  progressive  religious  edu- 
cators— as  a  member  of  their  priesthood  who  had  become  their  pro- 
phetic critic,  "to  pluck  up  and  to  break  down,  to  destroy  and  to 
overthrow,"  but  also  "to  build  and  to  plant."2  While  this  latter  more 
positive  role  may  not  have  been  evident  to  those  who  heard  his 
theological  criticisms  as  the  outcries  of  an  apostate,  Shelton  Smith  did 
insist  that  his  purpose  was  constructively  critical.  He  was  concerned 
for  the  salvation  of  Christian  nurture  from  what  he  regarded  as  an 
outmoded  and  unrealistic  liberal  theology  and  a  naturalistic  edu- 
cational philosophy  subversive  of  essential  Christian  faith.  If  it  was 
the  newer  "realistic  theology"  which  afforded  the  essential  Christian 
perspective  for  much  of  his  critique,  he  advocated  neither  "icono- 
clastic rejection  of  religious  liberalism"  nor  uncritical  adoption  of 
neo-orthodoxy,  but  "penetrating  and  unsparing  criticism"  of  both 
and  willingness  to  learn  from  either.3  Both  of  our  preceding  articles 
have  exhibited  his  willingness  to  continue  learning  from  liberal 
progressivism,  and  today  Shelton  Smith  is  even  more  concerned  to 
preserve  its  gains  ;4  but  "unsparing  criticism"  did  predominate  in 
what  we  have  already  examined  of  Faith  and  Nurture.  More  of 
this  Jeremiah's  building  and  planting  and  "waymarks"  and  "guide- 
posts"5  for  return  to  Christian  nurture  may  be  seen  in  his  develop- 

1.  This  is  a  third  article  on  the  role  of  H.  Shelton  Smith  in  the  theological 
critique,  reconstruction,  and  renewal  of  Christian  nurture.  For  the  preceding 
articles,  see  The  Duke  Divinity  School  Bulletin,  XXVIII,  No.  2  (May  1963), 
pp.  127-141,  and  The  Duke  Divinity  School  Review,  XXIX,  No.  2  (Spring 
1964),  pp.   102-113. 

2.  Jeremiah  1:10,   R.S.V.    See  my  preceding  article,  pp.   102f. 

3.  Ibid.,  pp.  103f.,  and  H.  Shelton  Smith,  Faith  and  Nurture  (Charles 
Scribner's   Sons,   1941),  pp.  vii-ix. 

4.  He  lectured  several  years  ago  at  the  University  of  North  Carolina  on 
John  Dewey's  contributions,  and  has  criticized  a  "hardened  orthodoxy"  in 
certain  recent  Christian  education  curricular  developments !  For  his  "re- 
valuation" of  George  A.  Coe's  contributions,  see  his  appreciative  tribute, 
"George  A.  Coe:  Revaluer  of  Values,"  Religion  in  Life,  XXII,  No.  1  (Winter 
1952-53),  pp.  46-57. 

5.  Jeremiah  31 :21,  RSV. 


ment  of  two  other  themes  in  this  book  and  in  subsequent  articles 
and  lectures.  These  more  affirmative  statements  deal  with  the 
doctrine  of  the  person  and  work  of  Christ  and  the  doctrine  of  the 

The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture 

"Essential  to  any  vital  advance  in  Christian  nurture,"  Shelton 
Smith  affirmed,  "is  a  renewed  consciousness  of  the  supremacy  of 
Christ."6  This  is  the  fundamental  thesis  of  a  chapter  of  Faith  and 
Nurture,1  of  a  symposium  article  published  a  year  later,8  and  of  one 
of  the  lectures  in  a  series  given  at  three  theological  seminaries  in 
1942  and  1947.9 

He  was  beginning  to  work  out  more  fully  the  basic  Christologi- 
cal  and  soteriological  interests  which  were  implicit  in  his  theological 
conversion  of  1931  and  his  "Barthian"  article  of  1934  and  briefly 
asserted  in  his  provocative  addresses  of  1936.10  He  had  challenged 
the  Religious  Education  Association  by  vigorously  criticizing  Stewart 
G.  Cole's  presentation  on  "The  Church  and  Religious  Naturalism" 
for  its  rejection  of  the  inherent  supernaturalism  of  Jewish  and  early 
Christian  thought,  for  its  reduction  of  Christ  to  the  liberal  Jesus  of 
history,  and  for  its  dilution  of  salvation  to  moralistic  humanitarian- 
ism.  "Professor  Cole,"  he  charged,  "unreservedly  rejects  the  idea  of 
salvation  in  terms  of  transcendent  revelation,  grace,  and  deliver- 
ance. ...  he  repudiates  the  idea  of  salvation  as  Divine  deliverance 
in  the  medium  of  Christ.  For  a  gospel  of  good  news  in  Christ,  he 
substitutes  a  gospel  of  good  works.  .  .  .  Only  high  religion  with  a 
redemptive  cross  at  its  center  has  afforded  society  its  revolutionary 
gospel,"  Smith  declared.11  To  fellow  Congregational-Christians 
in  General  Council  he  had  proclaimed  that  "The  Christian  gospel 

6.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  Religion  in  Life,  XII, 
No.   1    (Winter   1942-1943),   p.  31. 

7.  Chapter  Four,  "Faith  in  the  Divine  Initiative,"  pp.  100-135  of  Faith  and 
Nurture.  Subtopics :  "Decadent  Evangelism,"  "Jesus  Christ  as  the  Ultimate 
Meaning  of  Life,"  "The  Gospel  of  Repentance,"  and  "The  Gospel  of  Deliver- 

8.  The  Religion  in  Life  article  referred  to  above  was  one  of  three  on  "Issues 
in  Religious  Education."  William  Clayton  Bower  wrote  on  "Christian  Edu- 
cation after  Nineteen  Centuries,"  pp.  41-47;  and  Henry  P.  Van  Dusen  on 
"Religious  Education  in  Crisis,"  pp.  48-52. 

9.  Four  lectures  on  "Faith  and  Nurture  in  Contemporary  Protestant 
Thought,"  presented  at  Eden  Theological  Seminary,  February  10-12,  1942;  at 
Pacific  School  of  Religion,  February  17-19,  1942;  and  at  Austin  Presbyterian 
Seminary,    February   3-7,    1947.    These   are   in   typescript. 

10.  See  my  first  article  in  this  series,  pp.  103f,  134ff. 

11.  "Is  Religious  Naturalism  Enough?"  Religious  Education,  XXXI,  No.  2 
(April  1936),  pp.  107-109. 


is  the  gospel  of  salvation  only  to  sinners,"  a  good  news  of  "God's 
strategy  of  radical  deliverance  in  the  direct  action  of  the  Cross."12 

These  ringing  declarations,  however  brief  and  polemical,  presage 
in  several  ways  Shelton  Smith's  further  and  fuller  reflections  on  "the 
supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  nurture."  In  the  first  place,  it  was 
to  be  expected  that  his  Christological  and  soteriological  statements  in 
Faith  and  Nurture  and  ensuing  utterances  would  still  be  expressed  in 
critical  contrast  to  what  he  deplored  as  the  inadequate  gospel  of 
liberal  nurture.  Secondly,  and  relatedly,  his  interest  in  Christology 
centered  more  in  the  authority  of  revelation  than  in  the  nature  of 
the  incarnation ;  that  is,  more  in  the  assertion  of  divine  initiative  in 
Christ  than  in  the  manner  or  matter  of  such  disclosure.  Thirdly,  even 
that  interest  in  the  revelation  of  God  in  Christ  tended  to  be  sub- 
sumed under  and  assimilated  to  a  predominating  soteriological 
interest.  If  this  accorded  with  his  well-known  emphasis  on  the 
doctrine  of  man  as  sinner,  it  also  (surprisingly  to  some)  implied  the 
continuing  primacy  of  nurture  over  instruction  in  Shelton  Smith's 
reconception  of  Christian  education,  and  kept  him  closer  to  Bushnell 
after  all  than  to  the  new  orthodoxy.  These  three  points  afford  outline 
for  exploration  of  his  more  developed  statements  about  the  place  of 
Christ  in  Christian  nurture. 

(1)  The  first  point  is  primarily  introductory  and  needs  little 
elaboration.  Liberal  Protestantism,  as  Smith  saw  it,  had  lost  its 
evangelical  power  and  social  dynamic.  Liberal  educators  and 
churches  had  followed  Horace  Bushnell  in  substituting  evangelism 
through  Christian  nurture  for  a  sterile  revivalism.  Smith  could  ap- 
prove their  reaction  against  the  "excesses  and  imbecilities,"  "catas- 
trophic conversion,"  "religious  introversion  and  unhealthy  emotional- 
ism" of  a  traditional  revivalism  which  "no  longer  really  revived."13 
But  in  expecting  Christian  nurture  to  "be  the  means  of  quickening 
the  evangelical  life  of  the  American  churches,"  they  had  unduly 
trusted  "in  the  revitalizing  power  of  the  child-centered  Church" 
and  "the  evangelical  potency  of  the  educational  method."14  Child- 
nurture  and  educational  method  did  contribute  to  the  institutional 
perpetuation  and  growth  of  the  churches,  but  were  inadequate  for  "a 
new  dynamic  in  the  Church  which  makes  it  socially  effective  and 
world-redemptive,  and  ...  in  radical  tension  with  a  secular  cul- 
ture" ;15    they    did    not    issue    in    adult    religious    vitality    or    bring 

12.  "The  Gospel  for  an  Age  of  Good  Works,"  Advance,  CXXVIII,  No.  13 
(October  1936),  p.  581. 

13.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.   104. 

14.  Ibid.,  p.  101. 

15.  Ibid.,  p.  102. 


religious  revival  or  serve  as  the  expected  "religiously  reconstructive 

Yet  this  did  not  mean  for  Shelton  Smith  the  renunciation  of 
Christian  nurture :  "On  the  contrary,  to  the  fullest  possible  extent 
the  Church  should  share  its  life  and  faith  with  the  young.  This  is  a 
basic  and  continuing  task  of  the  Church.  Nevertheless,  the  Church 
must  not  surrender  to  the  illusion  that  child-nurture,  in  itself,  will 
rekindle  the  fire  of  life  and  faith  in  the  Christian  community."17  The 
problem,  as  he  saw  it,  was  not  only  that  too  much  was  expected  of 
nurture;  it  was,  more  seriously,  that  liberal  nurture  was  "feeble 
because  .  .  .  rooted  in  a  sub-Christian  gospel.  Educational  evangelism 
is  largely  sterile,"  he  maintained,  because  it  lacked  "an  adequate 
evangel."18  This  meant,  centrally,  an  inadequate  doctrine  of  Christ: 
"for  in  no  respect  is  progressive  nurture  more  vulnerable  than  in  its 
doctrine  of  the  person  and  work  of  Christ."19  In  book,  article,  and 
lecture,  Shelton  Smith  hammered  home  this  point,  repeatedly  ex- 
posing the  weakness  of  liberal  progressive  views  of  Jesus  in  the  con- 
trasting light  of  what  he  regarded  as  enduringly  indispensable 
meanings  of  classical  Christian  doctrines  of  Christ. 

(2)  His  concern  with  the  doctrine  of  the  person  of  Christ  (as 
distinguished  from  the  work  of  Christ)  did  not,  however,  lead  him 
back  to  the  traditional  problems  of  classical  Christological  or 
Trinitarian  discussions.  Closer  by  now  to  Tillich  than  to  Barth,  he 
shared  with  both  an  emphasis  (in  this  context  at  least)  not  so  much 
on  the  nature  or  the  mode  of  the  incarnation  as  on  the  fact  of  it :  not 
so  much  on  the  "whatness"  as  on  the  "thatness"  of  divine  initiative 
in  historical  disclosure  in  Jesus  Christ.  He  was  interested  here 
primarily  in  the  normativeness  of  that  disclosure,  in  the  ultimacy 
and  authority  of  the  revelation,  in  the  supremacy  and  finality  of 
Christ  in  the  continuing  Christian  movement.  The  governing  in- 
terest is  evident  beneath  varying  nuances  of  representative  passages 
from  the  three  sources  under  examination. 

Thus  Shelton  Smith  declared  in  Faith  and  Nurture,  "The  Chris- 
tian gospel  involves  a  fundamental  faith  in  respect  to  the  relation  of 
God  to  human  history.  .  .  .  the  faith  that  God  has  revealed  in  history, 
in  Jesus  Christ,  the  ultimate  meaning  and  destiny  of  human  ex- 
istence."20   Taking  his  cue  from  Paul  Tillich,  he  went  on  to  affirm 

16.  Ibid.,  p.  105. 

17.  Ibid,,  p.  103. 
IS.  Ibid.,  p.  105. 

19.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  33. 

20.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  105. 


that  history  was  given  a  religious  center  in  Jesus  Christ,  in  the  sense 
that  historical  events,  both  past  and  future,  find  their  ultimate  spiritual 
significance  in  and  through  Christ.  The  events  B.C.  and  A.D.  are  inter- 
sected by  a  transempirical  "event"  that  discloses  the  ultimate  religious 
meaning  of  historical  existence  before  the  end  of  the  empirical  time- 
process.    In  this  sense  therefore  Christ  is  the  center  of  history.21 

It  may  be  worth  noting  that  what  here  engaged  the  attention  of 
Smith  and  Tillich  with  respect  to  the  incarnation  was  not  the  reality 
or  nature  or  character  of  God  disclosed  in  Christ  but  the  illumina- 
tion of  human  existence.  It  was  not  so  much  the  person  of  Christ 
as  the  work  of  Christ  that  concerned  them ;  Christology  was  being 
assimilated  to  soteriology. 

The  comparable  key  statement  in  Smith's  lecture  to  the  theo- 
logical seminaries  on  "The  Place  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture" 
similarly  emphasized  the  normative  meaning  of  Jesus  Christ  for 
Christian  understanding  of  historical  existence  (this  time  with 
acknowledgment  of  another  mentor)  : 

.  .  .  Christianity  is  an  historical  religion  in  the  sense  that  its  Founder, 
Jesus  of  Nazareth,  was  a  real  historical  figure.  Let  us  recognize,  how- 
ever, that  he  is  historical  in  yet  another  sense.  For  Christian  faith,  Jesus 
Christ  is  the  permanent  historical  center  of  the  Christian  movement  in 
the  sense  that  in  Him  God  validly  disclosed  the  ultimate  meaning  of 
human  existence  once  for  all.  He  is  that  special  revelatory  event  with- 
in the  Christian  community  which  serves  as  the  unsurpassed  norm  of 
the  true  spiritual  meaning  of  all  human  events.  It  is  this  event,  as 
Professor  Richard  Niebuhr  says,  "which  makes  all  other  events  intel- 
ligible" to  the  Christian  consciousness.22 

However,  a  pivotal  declaration  in  his  article  on  "The  Supremacy 
of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture"  did  express,  in  broader  statement 
and  different  idiom  more  redolent  of  traditional  Christological  dis- 
cussion, a  fundamental  interest  also  in  the  person  of  Christ  for  what 
he  revealed  of  the  nature  of  God,  as  well  as  the  destiny  of  man : 

Jesus  Christ,  says  the  classical  tradition  of  the  Church,  is  both  the 
historic  founder  and  the  abiding  norm  of  the  Christian  movement.  That 
affirmation  rests  on  the  faith — which  is  substantiated  by  almost  twenty 
centuries  of  experience — that  in  Christ  God  has  already  supremely  un- 

21.  Ibid.,  pp.  105f.  He  cited  Paul  Tillich's  essay  on  "The  Kingdom  of  God 
and  History,"  in  the  Oxford  Conference  volume,  The  Kingdom  of  God  and 
History  (Willett,  Clark,  1938),  p.  119.  Shelton  Smith  avidly  read  the  Oxford 
Conference  literature  and  sent  his  students  to  it.  Moreover,  he  has  long  been 
a  friend  and  appreciative  interpreter  of  Tillich,  and  later  instituted  a  seminar 
on  Tillich's  theology. 

22.  From  the  unpublished  typescript  of  Lecture  Three,  "The  Place  of  Christ 
in  Christian  Nurture,"  pp.  5f.  The  reference  was  to  H.  Richard  Niebuhr,  The 
Meaning  of  Revelation  (The  Macmillan  Company,  1941),  p.  93. 


veiled  His  innermost  nature.  As  a  result  of  that  divine  self-manifestation, 
the  Christian  community  believes  that  it  now  beholds  in  the  face  of  Jesus 
Christ  both  the  true  nature  of  God  and  the  true  destiny  of  man.23 

Even  here,  nevertheless,  Smith's  central  interest  in  the  doctrine  of 
the  person  of  Christ,  or  the  incarnation,  was  manifestly  in  the  ulti- 
macy  and  authority  of  revelation. 

This  main  point  was  made  in  vigorous  polemic  against  what  he 
perceived  as  the  relativizing  and  repudiation  of  revelational  theology 
by  liberal  religious  educators,  especially  by  the  more  extreme  pro- 
gressives. The  problem  was  not  merely  that  religious  education  had 
grown  up  with  the  liberal  attenuation  of  classical  views  of  revelation. 
It  was  rather  that  progressive  philosophy  of  nurture  was  in  "basic 
conflict"  with  the  view  that  "in  Jesus  Christ  God  disclosed  the  ulti- 
mate meaning  of  existence."24  The  conflict  was  rooted  in  the  pro- 
gressive assumption  that  all  "revelations"  were  relative  to  their 
times,  and  that  any  ultimate  meanings  of  existence  were  to  be  sought 
in  the  emerging  future  rather  than  the  past. 

This  relativistic  idea  of  revelation  is  the  main  root  of  the  progressive's 
opposition  to  what  he  dubs  "supernaturalism,"  "authoritarianism,"  and 
the  like.  To  him  those  terms  involve,  among  other  things,  a  belief  in  a 
prior  disclosure  of  some  truth  or  value  which  is  subsequently  taken  to 
possess  a  normative  character  in  Christian  nurture;  and  any  such  belief 
is  in  conflict  with  his  own  doctrine.  Thus  he  repudiates  absolutes,  and 
founds  his  faith  upon  what  he  calls  "emerging  values."25 

Thus  William  Clayton  Bower  could  say  that  it  "  'is  a  naive  illusion 
to  suppose  that  ideas,  values,  .  .  .  which  functioned  in  a  past  period 
of  culture,  will  or  can  function  in  the  contemporary  scene.'  "26  Smith 
saw  in  this  "exaggerated  emphasis"  on  the  present  and  future,  with 
its  subordination  of  the  past,  a  tendency  which  he  caricatured  in 
terms  of  its  logical  outcome:  "The  most  one  might  say  of  Jesus,  on 
this  basis,  is  that  his  ideas  and  values  are  an  historical  exhibit  of 
what  modern  Christians  need  not  take  seriously."27  To  be  sure, 
"the  progressive  is  loath  to  accept  the  full  consequences  of  such  a 
position ;  and  therefore  he  continues  to  profess  devotion  to  the 
ethical  teachings  of  Jesus,  or  at  least  to  the  spirit  of  quest  as  ex- 
hibited in  Jesus"  ;28  but  for  Smith  this  was  not  enough  for  signifi- 

23.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  34. 

24.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.   107. 

25.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  34. 

26.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  107,  and  Bower,  "The  Challenge  of  Reaction  to 
Liberal   Thought,"   Religious  Education,   XXXII    (1937),   p.   120. 

27.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  107. 

28.  Ibid,,  p.   108. 


cant  Christian  nurture.  "No  realistic  individual,"  he  declared,  "can 
truly  doubt  that  Jesus  Christ  is  ultimately  valid  and  at  the  same 
time  make  a  decisive  self-commitment  to  Him."29 

The  conflict  between  such  a  view  of  the  supremacy  of  Jesus 
Christ  and  progressive  nurture  was  variously  evident  also  in  the 
educational  method  of  the  latter.  If  the  progressives  could  use  epi- 
thets like  "authoritarian,"  "supernaturalist,"  and  "traditionalism," 
Smith  could  hoist  progressive  religious  education  on  its  own  ideo- 
logical banners  and  watchwords.  Thus  he  lifted  up  its  assumption 
that  reality  is  in  process  of  continuous  change,  its  emphasis  on  the 
method  of  experimental  quest,  its  pragmatic  concern  with  method 
of  inquiry  rather  than  formulation  of  truth,  its  anti-historical  bias, 
its  rejection  of  content-teaching,  its  principle  of  tentativeness,  its 
neglect  of  past  religious  insights  in  favor  of  the  process  of  remaking 
all  insights.30  "Vital  Christian  nurture  is  rooted  in  a  faith  that  can- 
not accept  this  provisional  temper  and  process  of  experimentalism," 
he  strongly  objected.  "Christian  nurture  presupposes  a  faith  that 
goes  deeper  than  mere  faith  in  'growing  values.'  .  .  .  The  Christian 
teacher  .  .  .  does  not  share  his  faith  in  Christ  with  the  child  in  a 
spirit  of  absolute  tentativeness,  but  in  the  conviction  that  in  Christ 
God  has  spoken  an  eternally  valid  word  to  humanity."31 

Up  to  this  point  we  have  noticed  Shelton  Smith's  interest  in 
Christology  primarily  for  its  theme  of  the  ultimacy  and  authority 
of  divine  disclosure  in  Jesus  Christ,  and,  in  this  regard,  his  concern 
more  with  the  "that"  than  with  the  "what"  of  this  supreme  revela- 
tion. If  he  did  not  rehearse  the  traditional  meanings  of  the  Godhead 
revealed  in  the  God-man,  neither  was  he  reduced  to  liberal  absorp- 
tion with  the  domesticated  personality  of  Jesus  the  good  man  and 
wise  teacher.  Yet  it  is  instructive  to  note  that  his  turn  toward  neo- 
orthodoxy's  Christ  of  faith  had  not  meant  renunciation  of  the  Jesus 
of  history.  In  his  early  "Barthian"  article  he  had  applauded  Barth's 
powerful  reaffirmation  of  the  centrality  of  Christ,  but  not  without 
reservations :  if  the  humanity  of  Jesus  was  not  revelatory,  he  pro- 
tested, but  only  Christ  the  Word  given  to  faith,  the  historical  Jesus 
might  be  reduced  to  "a  mere  ghostly  appearance" ;  whereas  Smith 
was  concerned  for  more,  rather  than  less,  knowledge  about  the 
Jesus  of  history.32    His   1942  lectures  to  the  seminaries  still  voiced 

29.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  36. 

30.  These  are  expressions,  some  verbatim,  gathered  from  Faith  and  Nurture, 
pp.  108-111. 

31.  Ibid.,  pp.  113,  114. 

32.  "Let  Religious  Educators  Reckon  with  Barthians,"  Religious  Education, 
XXIX,  No.  1    (January,  1934),  p.  50. 


such  misgivings  over  the  newer  theological  tendency  "that  really 
minimizes  the  value  of  the  historic  Jesus  and  puts  its  main  emphasis 
on  the  Christ  of  faith."33  Granting  that  it  did  "not  deny  that  Jesus 
was  a  real  historical  character,"  and  granting  that  the  more  radical 
New  Testament  criticism  had  so  reduced  the  picture  of  Jesus  as  to 
foster  such  reaction,  Smith  warned  against  the  "danger  of  obscuring 
the  character  of  Christianity  as  an  historical  and  ethical  faith."  "The 
Gospels,"  he  maintained,  "aim  to  tell  us  what  happened  in  history, 
not  less  than  to  explain  the  ultimate  meaning  of  historical  events. 
If  they  fail  to  give  us  all  that  we  should  like  to  know  about  Jesus  of 
Nazareth,  yet  what  they  do  give  is  of  the  greatest  importance  to  the 
Christian  educator.  A  faith  that  is  historically  rootless  is  not  Chris- 
tian faith."34  He  was  dissatisfied  with  the  historical  skepticism  of 
both  the  new  theology  and  the  older  criticism  that  had  left  progres- 
sive nurture's  historical  Jesus  "too  meager  a  person  of  Christian 

The  Gospel  of  Repentance  and  Deliverance 

(3)  Yet  Shelton  Smith's  fundamental  concern  both  for  knowl- 
edge of  the  Jesus  of  history  and  for  acknowledgment  of  the  finality 
of  divine  disclosure  in  Christ  was  manifestly  more  distinctively 
soteriological  than  primarily  Christological.  What  made  revelation, 
and  incarnation,  significant  and  essential  was  the  saving  mission  of 
Jesus  Christ  for  sinful  man.  It  was  in  this  connection  that  Shelton 
Smith  gave  most  attention  to  what  Jesus  said  and  did  as  well  as  to 
the  divine  authority  of  that  message  and  ministry.  If  these  truisms 
do  not  surprise  us,  they  do  remind  us  of  his  loyal  though  liberal  stance 
within  the  Reformation  and  neo-Reformation  traditions,  for  there 
his  mentors  old  and  new  likewise  both  exalted  the  incarnation  and 
subsumed  it  under  reconciliation  and  redemption.  This  crucial  aspect 
of  his  thought  will  be  evident  as  we  examine  his  affirmations  of 
theological  correctives  for  a  more  Christian  nurture. 

The  two  main  themes  of  this  corrective  were  enunciated  in  his 
article  on  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ"  as  he  identified  the  failure  of 
progressive  religious  education  "to  recognize  the  decisive  mission 
of  Christ  both  in  uncovering  the  nature  of  man's  ultimate  problem 
and  in  mediating  to  him  the  resources  of  the  divine  mercy."36  He 
dealt  with  the  same  themes  in  somewhat  different  terms  in  both  of 

33.  Lecture  Three,  "The  Place  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  p.  2  (from 
the  unpublished  typescript). 

34.  Ibid.,  pp.  2f. 

35.  Ibid.,  p.  5. 

36.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  36. 


the  other  writings :  "The  Gospel  of  Repentance"  and  "The  Gospel 
of  Deliverance"  in  Faith  and  Nurture,37  and  with  "Jesus  Christ: 
Mediator  of  the  Judgment  of  the  Kingdom"  and  "Jesus  Christ: 
Mediator  of  the  Grace  of  the  Kingdom"  in  Lecture  Three  to  the  sem- 
inaries.38 A  brief  study  will  show  what  he  made  of  these  comple- 
mentary themes  and  how  he  found  religious  education  doctrinally 

(a)  The  charge  that  progressive  nurture  had  failed  "to  recognize 
the  decisive  mission  of  Christ  ...  in  uncovering  the  nature  of  man's 
problem"  referred,  of  course,  to  Jesus  Christ's  exposure  of  man's 
sin  and  need  to  repent  to  enter  the  Kingdom  of  God.  This  was  an 
enduring  theme  for  Shelton  Smith,  from  his  "Barthian"  protest 
through  his  characteristic  "O  wretched  man  that  I  am"  classroom 
exclamations  in  the  later  1930's  into  the  culminating  study  of  Chang- 
ing Conceptions  of  Original  Sin  (1955).39  But  this  continuing 
emphasis  was  not,  as  some  have  misunderstood  or  even  caricatured 
Smith's  and  neo-Reformation  theology,  an  obsession  with  "man  as 
sinner" ;  rather,  as  the  present  context  shows,  it  was  a  more  in- 
clusive concern  for  realistic  recognition  of  man's  condition  in  order 
to  his  salvation,  and  therefore  with  the  work  of  Jesus  Christ  in  both 
this  radical  diagnosis  and  efficacious  therapy.  And  here,  it  may  be 
seen,  the  formal  authority  of  Christ  already  discussed  began  to  take 
on  the  material  content  of  historical  word  and  deed. 

A  principal  point  of  tension  between  progressive  religious  edu- 
cation and  Christian  faith,  as  Smith  saw  it,  was  "the  nature  of  the 
demand  that  the  Christian  gospel  makes  upon  the  human  subject  of 
redemption."40  That  demand  he  found  articulated  when  Jesus  came 
preaching,  "Repent  ye;  for  the  kingdom  of  heaven  is  at  hand."41 
"In  Jesus'  call  to  repentance,"  he  declared,  "there  is  a  basic  pre- 

37.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.   115-124  and  124-135. 

38.  Lecture  Three,  "The  Place  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  pp.  15-22 
and  22-29. 

39.  Changing  Conceptions  of  Original  Sin:  A  Study  in  American  Theology 
Since  1750  (Charles  Scribner's  Sons,  1955),  a  careful  examination  of  early- 
colonial  orthodoxy  as  to  the  doctrine  of  sin,  of  its  modification  and  virtual 
rejection  in  liberal  theology,  and  of  its  revival  and  revision  in  recent  thought. 
The  judgment  may  be  ventured  that  Shelton  Smith  buried  his  anthropological 
interest  in  that  volume,  and  turned  with  the  times  to  other  theological  themes 
and  especially  to  his  already  strong  concerns  for  racial  justice  and  an  inclusive 
Church.  Moreover,  his  presidencies  of  the  American  Church  History  Society 
and  the  American  Theological  Society,  and  his  massive  editorial  work  (with 
Robert  T.  Handy  and  Lefferts  A.  Loetscher)  on  the  two  volumes  of  American 
Christianity  (Charles  Scribner's  Sons,  1960,  1963),  must  have  demanded 
and  stimulated  his  increasingly  diverse  theological  and  historical  interests. 

40.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  115. 

41.  Matthew  4:17. 


supposition  ....  that  human  existence  is  in  contradiction  with  the 
Kingdom  of  God,  and  therefore  stands  under  judgment  of  the  King- 
dom. In  this  is  also  signified  the  fact  that  man  does  not,  in  his 
'fallen'  condition,  belong  to  the  Kingdom.  The  gospel  thus  confronts 
man  with  a  radical  imperative  only  because  man  does  not  really 
stand  on  the  inner  circle  of  the  Kingdom."42  This  meant  that  man 
must  repent,  and  must  be  convicted  of  the  need  to  repent,  and  must 
be  won  to  the  will  to  repent.   How  could  this  be  effected  ? 

Smith  ascribed  the  radical  totality  and  ultimate  validity  of  this 
stark  claim  to  Jesus'  own  insight  into  the  "absolute  holiness  of  God" : 

His  conviction  of  the  absolute  necessity  for  repentance  grew  out  of  His 
clear  perception  of  the  nature  of  God.  Being  deeply  aware  of  the  absolute 
holiness  of  God,  Jesus  saw  that  no  man  was  truly  good.  .  .  .  According 
to  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  one  must  be  free  from  all  anxiety,  be 
absolutely  pure,  forgive  without  limit,  and  love  God  with  the  whole  heart, 
or  else  one  could  have  no  fellowship  with  God  in  His  Kingdom.  These 
absolutes  derived  their  validity,  not,  as  some  have  claimed,  from  their 
interim  nature,  but  from  the  fact  of  their  belonging  to  an  eternal  order  of 

But  it  was  not  simply  the  authority  of  Jesus'  insight  and  teaching 
that  was  needed  to  lead  men  through  repentance  to  the  Kingdom; 
it  was  his  own  personal  embodiment  of  it  in  history,  and  an  embodi- 
ment men  could  know  to  be  the  Kingdom#in  their  midst: 

The  call  to  repentance  is  set  in  a  rigorous  context  not  merely  by 
Jesus'  formal  declaration  of  the  absolute  nature  of  the  Kingdom  of  God, 
but  more  especially  by  his  own  personal  demonstration  of  its  quality  on 
the  historical  plane.  He  not  only  spoke  with  an  authority  that  was 
strikingly  different  from  that  of  the  scribes  and  the  Pharisees;  He 
actually  exhibited  in  his  daily  life  such  qualities  of  love  and  mercy,  of 
good-will  and  compassion,  that  one  in  closest  company  with  him  in  all 
sorts  of  situations,  is  reported  as  saying:  "Thou  are  the  Christ,  the 
Son  of  the  living  God."44 

Thus  Jesus'  very  life  brought  to  men  the  righteousness  of  the  King- 
dom in  a  sense  that  his  mere  words  could  never  have  done.  He  thus 
sharpened  the  call  to  repentance  by  living  out  the  character  of  the  Kingdom 
on  the  plane  of  history.  .  .  .  As  men  witnessed  the  extraordinary  power 
of  the  Kingdom  as  demonstrated  in  Jesus  of  Nazareth,  they  were  pro- 
foundly convicted  of  sin  and  of  their  need  of  repentance.45 

Here,  then,  Shelton  Smith  was  fleshing  out  his  more  formal 
Christological   utterances   with   historical   content   of   the   saving  ac- 

42.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  116. 

43.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  pp.  36f. 

44.  Lecture  Three,  "The  Place  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  pp.   17-18 

45.  Ibid.,  pp.  18,  19. 


tivity  of  Jesus  Christ  as  human  spokesman  and  embodiment  of  the 
divine  judgment  and  call  to  repentance  (and,  as  we  shall  discuss 
presently,  of  divine  grace  and  deliverance).  The  incarnation,  as 
revelation  of  God's  nature  and  man's  destiny,  could  thus  better  be 
understood  in  terms  of  the  authority  and  power  of  God  effectually 
working  in  the  message  and  ministry  of  Jesus  of  Nazareth.  It  would 
be  interesting,  though  difficult,  to  disentangle  the  not  quite  har- 
monious strands  of  Smith's  theological  affinities  with  Barth  and 
Brunner,  and  with  Tillich,  on  the  one  hand,  and  with  moderate 
British  New  Testament  interpretation,  like  C.  H.  Dodd's,  on  the 
other  hand ;  but  the  analyst  might  also  look  back  of  Smith's  own 
approach  to  Chalcedon  for  the  influences  of  his  American  social 
gospel  heritage,  of  his  colleague  Albert  C.  Outler,  and  especially  of 
Horace  Bushnell's  long  struggle  with  the  meaning  of  "Christ  and 
his  salvation."46 

Yet  it  was  a  liberal  religious  education  indebted  to  Bushnell's 
Christian  Nurture  that  Smith  brought  under  critical  scrutiny  in  light 
of  these  views  of  Jesus  Christ  as  exposer  of  sin  and  summoner  to 
repentance.  In  reaction  against  a  sterile  revivalism  that  depended 
excessively  on  late  emotional  conversions  for  initiation  of  Christian 
life,  Bushnell  had  advocated  that  a  child  be  so  nurtured,  by  virtue  of 
regenerative  grace  operative  through  the  organic  unity  of  the  family, 
that  he  would  grow  up  a  Christian  and  never  know  himself  as  other- 
wise. As  Smith  could  show,  there  was  a  residual  realism  in  Bush- 
nell's acknowledgment  of  human  depravity,  and  in  his  profound  con- 
cern with  man's  need  for  Christ's  atonement ;  but  more  sanguine 
twentieth-century  disciples  like  George  A.  Coe  and  George  H.  Betts 
extended  one  side  of  Bushnell's  thought  into  a  view  of  the  child  as 
naturally  a  member  of  the  Kingdom  of  God  and  due  for  normal 
development  in  goodness.47 

For  liberal  religious  nurture  in  effect  presupposes  that  when  man  emerges 
in  his  empirical  existence  he  is  already  a  member  of  the  Kingdom  of 
God,  and  needs  only  more  growth  from  within  it.  Thus  the  primary  task 
of  Christian  nurture  in  this  view  is  to  preserve  the  child's  membership  in 
the  Kingdom,  rather  than  to  awaken  in  him  the  consciousness  of  the 
need  of  repentance  as  a  condition  of  entrance  into  it.48 

46.  See  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  21-24,  116-122;  also  Smith,  ct  ah,  American 
Christianity:  An  Historical  Interpretation  with  Representative  (Documents, 
Volume  II,  Chapter  XVII,  "The  Christocentric  Liberal  Tradition,"  especially 
pp.  260-264,  270-275  ;  and  Shelton  Smith's  forthcoming  volume  in  the  Library 
of  Protestant  Thought  series  on  Horace  Bushnell,  to  be  published  soon  by  the 
Oxford  University  Press. 

47.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  116-122. 

48.  Ibid.,  p.  116. 


"Liberal  nurture's  tendency  to  educate  the  child  in  the  consciousness 
of  being  Christian,"  Smith  wryly  remarked,  "is  not  calculated  to 
cultivate  in  man  the  disposition  to  admit  his  sickness."49  Nor  was 
progressive  religious  education  disposed  to  take  seriously  the  real- 
istic theologians'  revival  of  the  doctrine  of  sin.50 

(b)  A  progressive  nurture  indisposed  to  acknowledge  sin  and 
judgment  would  then  also  fail  to  recognize  the  saving  mission  of 
Christ  in  mediating  to  man  "the  resources  of  the  divine  mercy."51 
But,  as  Shelton  Smith  eloquently  put  it  in  his  lecture,  "This  is 
where  Jesus  Christ  emerges  in  His  supreme  role.  For  in  Christ  the 
Kingdom  of  Judgment  is  transmuted  into  the  Kingdom  of  Mercy. 
The  Word  of  wrath  is  swallowed  up  in  the  Word  of  grace."52  For 
authority  on  this  other  neglected  theme  Smith  returned  to  his  gospel 
text  and  cited  Jesus'  preaching  of  the  divine  deliverance  "at  hand" 
for  those  who  respond  to  God  in  repentance  and  faith.  Such  de- 
liverance, it  seemed  necessary  to  stress,  was  "recognized  as  the  act 
of  God,"  "a  gift  of  God" ;  it  was  "a  promise  of  deliverance  from 
sin  by  a  power  greater  than  ourselves" ;  the  Lord's  Prayer  echoed 
this  ""fundamental  fact  that  the  Kingdom  is  God's,  and  that  human 
entrance  into  it  is  possible  only  through  the  divine  deliverance."53 
Moreover,  this  "emphasis  upon  God  as  deliverer  from  sin  and  evil 

49.  Ibid.,  p.  124. 

50.  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  op.  cit.,  p.  37.  Smith 
could  sympathize  with  some  of  the  progressive  reactions  against  indiscriminate 
application  of  the  idea  of  sin  in  neo-orthodoxy.  "But  the  thing  that  impresses 
me  most  about  the  progressive  in  this  connection,"  he  countered,  "is  that  his 
own  constructive  doctrine  reveals  so  little  appreciation  of  sin  in  any  of 
its  profounder  dimensions.  He  speaks  often  enough  of  social  tensions  and  of 
'undesirable  tendencies' ;  nevertheless,  in  his  analysis  of  them — both  in  respect 
of  source  and  of  ultimate  meaning — he  moves  almost  entirely  on  the  empirical 
plane.  Assuming  as  he  does  that  the  self  is  social  in  origin,  he  is  usually 
inclined  to  locate  the  decisive  root  of  human  tensions  in  the  social  matrix  in 
which  the  self  emerges.  Though  he  says  that  human  nature  at  birth  has 
potentialities  for  both  good  and  evil,  yet  there  is  always  the  strong  implication 
that  if  the  undesirable  historic  behavior  patterns  of  our  civilization  could  be 
extracted,  the  basic  source  of  the  evil  in  man  would  also  be  eliminated.  Thus 
what  purports  to  be  a  realistic  assessment  of  the  human  predicament  really 
amounts  to  a  romantic  one"  (ibid.,  p.  38). 

51.  Ibid.,  p.  36. 

52.  Lecture  Three,  "The  Place  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture,"  p.  23. 

53.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  124f.  If  these  arguments  seem  gratuitous  in  our 
theological  day,  when  the  Biblically  minded  would  hardly  be  caught  dead 
"building  the  kingdom,"  and  the  holy  worldlings  would  hardly  thing  of  justify- 
ing a  new  "secular"  autonomy  with  "teachings  of  Jesus"  about  the  kingdom, 
we  need  but  recall  how  seriously  the  liberal  social  gospel  era  represented  its 
anthropocentric  kingdom  in  terms  of  Jesus'  teachings,  and  how  it  distinguished 
sharply  between  the  Jesus  of  the  Synoptic  Gospels  and  the  theologizing  of 


is  continued  in  Paul's  teaching,"  Smith  went  on  to  show  (and  mar- 
shalled current  New  Testament  scholarship  to  vindicate,  against 
earlier  liberal  denigration  of  Paul's  "theologizing,"  an  essential  con- 
tinuity between  Synoptic  and  Pauline  teaching  about  Christ).  He 
found  beneath  the  Pauline  metaphors  of  reconciliation,  justification, 
adoption,  and  redemption  "the  presupposition  that  it  is  God,  not  man, 
who  redeems  human  existence  from  its  thralldom  and  meaningless- 

Liberal  nurture,  of  course,  saw  little  need  of  such  a  gospel.  It 
shared  the  faith  of  modern  culture  in  man's  "self-emancipating  ca- 
pacity."55 Whatever  deliverance  man  needed  was  to  be  sought  in 
"creative  thinking"  and  "creative  loving" — in  Coe's  "salvation  by 
education,"  in  the  appeal  of  a  rational  faith  for  a  scientific  age,  in 
the  efficacy  of  "creative  intelligence"  for  personal  problems  and 
social  injustices,  in  the  human  initiative  of  "creative  quest"  for 
higher  values,  in  the  law  of  love  exemplified  in  Jesus  for  the  build- 
ing or  bringing  in  of  the  Kingdom  of  God.56 

It  is  highly  significant  for  Shelton  Smith's  views  of  faith  and 
nurture  that  in  criticizing  such  rationalistic  and  moralistic  "redemp- 
tive" strategies  he  was  concerned  not  to  disparage  reason  but  to  see 
its  proper  service.  He  was  not  sympathetic  with  the  "tendency  in 
certain  quarters  to  retreat  into  a  misty  irrationalism,  mistakenly 
called  'faith.'  "57  Revelation  itself  required  the  response  of  human 
intelligence.  So  also  did  personal  and  social  reconstruction :  "Reason 
may  .  .  .  not  only  establish  a  social  norm  of  existence  that  transcends 
the  impulses  of  mere  self-survival,  but  it  may  both  reveal  and  criticize 
the  motives,  pretensions,  and  perspectives  of  those  who  thwart  life 
in  its  more  universal  dimensions."58  But  reason  was  not  enough  to 
resolve  the  "tensions  between  egoistic  impulse  and  social  communi- 
ty" ;  it  could  not  "provide  the  dynamic  of  redemption"  to  enable  man 
to  do  what  reason  itself  showed  good.  Like  the  Paul  of  Romans 
7:23ff.  (a  favorite  text  for  Smith  in  those  days),  man  was  too  much 
under  the  dominion  of  the  law  of  sin  to  serve  the  law  of  his  mind. 
Intelligence  was  not  enough.    He  needed  divine  deliverance.59 

It  is  significant,  again,  for  Shelton  Smith's  view  of  Christian 
nurture,  that  he  regarded  this  "theocentric  deliverance"  as  a  real  or 

54.  Ibid.,  pp.  125f. 

55.  Ibid.,  pp.  126f. 

56.  Ibid.,  pp.  127-132 ;  and  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ  in  Christian  Nurture," 
op.  cit.,  pp.  38f. 

57.  Ibid. 

58.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  131. 

59.  Ibid.,  pp.  131f. 


"dynamic"  salvation  (to  borrow  David  Roberts'  term  connoting  ex- 
perienced inner  change)  rather  than  a  "static"  salvation  defined  pri- 
marily in  terms  of  divine  forgiveness  or  a  change  of  man's  sinful 
status  before  God  (as  Roberts  and  others  interpreted  the  Barthian 
revival  of  Reformation  soteriology).60  This  accords  with  our  judg- 
ment that,  for  all  of  Smith's  stress  on  the  sinfulness  of  man,  he  pre- 
supposed much  more  of  a  continuing  basis  in  human  nature  for 
Christian  nurture  than  the  defensive  progressives  and  liberals  per- 
ceived in  the  theological  anthropology  of  Barth  and  neo-orthodoxy 
generally.  To  be  sure,  it  was  a  human  nature  in  need  of  change, 
but  change  was  possible  even  if  never  complete.  Moreover,  with  such 
recognition  of  both  the  need  and  the  possibility  of  change,  and  of  the 
meaning  of  the  incarnation  primarily  in  terms  of  soteriology,  and 
of  the  value  but  dynamic  limitations  of  human  reason,  we  would 
expect  Shelton  Smith  to  insist  on  a  reconstruction  of  Christian  edu- 
cation that  gave  priority  to  nurture  over  instruction ;  that  is,  a  theo- 
logically corrected  Christian  nurture  centering  in  relationships  with 
God  and  man  through  Church  and  family,  and  the  dynamic  activity 
of  God  through  such  relationships,  rather  than  in  a  content-centered 
curriculum  heavy  with  even  the  best  of  Biblical  and  doctrinal  ma- 
terial. Here  he  would  be  closer  to  Bushnell  than  to  neo-orthodoxy 
after  all.  Indeed,  such  has  been  the  tenor  of  his  critical  reactions  to 
certain  recent  theological  reconstructions  of  denominational  curricular 
philosophies  and  materials. 

It  is  significant  also,  in  these  connections,  that  Shelton  Smith 
again  drew  back,  as  he  had  before,  from  "the  Barthian  version  of 
current  theology"  where  it  implied  "a  too  complete  denial  of  the 
place  of  human  action  in  Christian  salvation.  Implicit  in  all  forms 
of  unqualified  divine  sovereignty,"  he  warned,  "is  the  danger  that 
man  will  be  regarded  as  a  too  passive  factor  in  divine-human  rela- 
tions." He  could  not  accept  Kierkegaard's  "radical  disjunction  be- 
tween God  and  man"  which  "lies  at  the  root  of  Barth's  theology."61 
Instead,  he  cited  with  approval  "an  important  element  of  correction" 

60.  See  David  E.  Roberts,  Psychotherapy  and  a  Christian  Viczv  of  Man 
(Charles  Scribner's  Sons,  1950),  Chapters  8  and  9.  It  is  tempting  to  link 
Shelton  Smith's  soteriology  with  John  Wesley's,  particularly  where  Wesley 
sees  the  repentant  man  through  his  conflict  of  law  and  sin  to  a  salvation  not 
only  from  the  guilt  of  sin  (justification)  but  also  from  the  power  of  sin 
(regeneration,  sanctification).  See,  for  example,  Wesley's  sermon  on  "The 
Scripture  Way  of  Salvation,"  in  Wesley's  Standard  Sermons,  ed.  Edward  H. 
Sugden  (The  Epworth  Press,  1921),  Vol.  II,  pp.  444ff.  However,  Shelton 
Smith  would  probably  prefer  the  New  England  theological  pedigree  with  a 
Bushncllian  revision. 

61.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  133f.  He  was  obviously  still  thinking  of  the 
"early  Barth,"  as  were  those  who  labelled  Shelton  Smith  himself  as  "Barthian." 


in  the  similarly  Calvinistic  New  England  theology:  the  idea  of 
covenant,  which  "acknowledges  that  God  is  sovereign  in  His  King- 
dom, yet  it  denies  that  God  is  'wholly  other'  in  His  relation  to  His 
creatures.  Implicit  in  the  idea  of  covenant,"  he  concluded,  "is  the 
assumption  that  man  has  a  responsible  part  to  play  both  in  entering 
upon,  and  in  preserving,  the  covenant  relation."62  Shelton  Smith 
had  once  again  corrected  his  theological  bearings  from  his  own  re- 
covered early  American  theological  tradition  in  preference  to  the 
word  of  Karl  Barth.68  But  both  had  spoken  to  him  of  the  saving 
grace  of  God  in  Jesus  Christ. 

The  Church:  Community  of  Christian  Nurture 

This  former  student  of  Shelton  Smith's  can  vividly  remember 
going  to  his  office  one  day  during  the  academic  year  1938-39  and 
discovering  his  professor  transported  with  theological  excitement 
over  the  doctrine  of  the  Church.  This  new  enthusiasm  seemed  strange 
at  the  time,  especially  because  Professor  Smith's  courses  had  not 
prepared  the  student  to  anticipate  or  respond  to  this  doctrinal  con- 

62.  Ibid.,  p.  134. 

63.  Throughout  these  studies  of  Shelton  Smith's  contributions  "Toward 
the  Renewal  of  Faith  and  Nurture"  we  have  found  his  responsiveness  to  Barth 
and  Brunner  strongly  tempered  by  preference  for  characteristic  American  theo- 
logical positions,  with  a  manifest  continuing  tension  in  his  thought  between 
liberal  and  orthodox  interests,  from  the  time  of  Jonathan  Mayhew  and 
Jonathan  Edwards  of  the  colonial  period  into  the  evangelical  liberalism,  social 
gospel  thought,  and  American  "realistic"  theology  of  the  present  century. 
(See  my  first  article,  op  cit.,  especially  pp.  136-141.) 

It  is  surprising  therefore  to  find  a  new  book  in  Christian  education  (Gerald 
H.  Slusser  The  Local  Church  in  Transition :  Theology,  Education,  and  Ministry 
[The  Westminster  Press,  1964],  pp.  54f.)  loosely  misinterpreting  and  quickly 
dismissing  Smith's  volume  as  "widely  acclaimed  .  .  .  mostly  because  it  was 
under  the  complete  dominance  of  crisis  theology."  "Viewed  from  the  vantage- 
point  of  post-Bultmannian  knowledge  of  theology,"  the  author  continues, 
"Smith's  book  seems  little  more  than  a  simple  repetition  of  Brunner's  theology. 
.  .  .  Smith  ...  set  up  straw  men  and  proceeded  to  knock  them  down  with 
borrowed  theology.  .  .  .  Smith  did  not  deal  with  the  strongest  points  of 
religious  education  and  its  best  defenders,  but  attacked  its  obvious  errors  and 
caricatured  the  movement  as  a  whole."  Moreover,  the  author  takes  Smith  to 
task  for  ignoring  the  major  point  of  Harrison  S.  Elliott's  Can  Religious 
Education  Be  Christian?  (1940),  a  defense  of  progressive  religious  education 
against  neo-orthodox  theology. 

As  for  this  last  point,  the  author  must  not  have  known  that  Faith  and 
Nurture  was  being  readied  for  the  press  when  Elliott's  book  was  published 
and  therefore  could  take  only  marginal  notice  of  the  latter.  The  two  books 
do  significantly  join  the  main  issues,  although  neither  was  written  in  response 
to  the  other. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  defend  Shelton  Smith  against  the  other  undis- 
criminating  criticisms.  Obviously  the  author  neither  probed  the  real  meaning 
of  Smith's  theology  nor  understood  his  concern  to  preserve  solid  gains  of 
religious  education  while  correcting  weaknesses. 


cern.  But  even  for  an  uncomprehending  student  there  was  no  doubt- 
ing the  fresh  and  compelling  interest.  There  on  his  desk  was  R. 
Newton  Flew's  new  book,  Jesus  and  His  Church  f4  and  all  around 
there  seemed  to  be  a  cloud  of  witnesses  to  the  Edinburgh  and  Oxford 
and  Madras  Conferences  and  their  ecclesiological  discussions.  We 
must  recover  the  doctrine  of  the  Church,  Shelton  Smith  was  insisting, 
as  if  bearing  witness  to  a  late  conversion  from  his  own  sectarian  tra- 
dition toward  an  ecumenical  ecclesiology,  a  theological  development 
almost  as  significant  as  his  earlier  swing  from  Dewey  toward  (not 
to!)  Barth. 

It  was  not  that  this  new  concern  negated — rather  it  reconceived 
and  fulfilled — his  earlier  work  and  thought  in  relation  to  the  churches. 
Although  from  a  denomination  which  lacked  the  organic  character 
or  connectionalism  or  sacramentalism  of  some  other  communions,  he 
had  long  since  transcended  denominationalism — in  war-time  Y.M.C.A. 
work  overseas,  in  progressive  educational  ideology,  in  interdenomina- 
tional service  on  the  staff  of  the  International  Council  of  Religious 
Education.  This  kind  of  ecumenical  concern  came  to  noteworthy 
fruition  in  his  key  leadership  in  the  origin  and  development  of  the 
North  Carolina  Council  of  Churches.  But  this  older  interdenomina- 
tionalism,  and  Shelton  Smith  as  a  vigorous  exponent  of  it,  lacked  the 
high  sense  of  the  Church  which  was  emerging  in  the  theologies  of 
ecumenical  discussion. 

He  began  to  write  into  his  much-revised  and  re-thought  manu- 
script for  Faith  and  Nurture  this  strong  new  concern  for  a  more 
adequate  theological  understanding  of  the  Church,  and  in  this  con- 
text, of  the  Church  as  the  community  of  Christian  nurture.  The 
book  embodied  his  first  substantial  treatment  of  the  theme;  the  pre- 
ceding articles  reveal  little  basis  for  anticipating  its  development. 
Thus  when  he  found  liberal  and  progressive  religious  education 
wanting  in  respect  to  the  doctrine  of  the  Church,  he  was  indirectly 
confessing  his  own  omission  in  his  earlier  critiques  and  his  earlier 
theological  work  generally;  indeed,  he  could  acknowledge  that  re- 
ligious education  was  not  "essentially  different  from  other  aspects  of 
American  Christianity"  in  this  neglect.65  He  might  well  have  in- 
cluded also  the  history  of  American  thought  which  he  had  explored 
without  being  awakened  to  such  an  interest.  But  now  it  had  become 
a  major  theological  category  for  his  rethinking  of  Christian  nurture, 
to  be  dealt  with  again  in  his  later  lectures  to  the  seminaries,  and  to 

64.  Published    in    1938   by    the    Epworth    Press,    London. 

65.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  139. 


serve  as  the  theme  for  an  entire  series  of  nine  lectures  to  the  Presby- 
terian Assembly's  Training  School  in  Richmond,  in  1954.66 

(1)  Before  examining  his  treatment  of  the  Church  in  Faith  and 
Nurture,  we  may  venture  several  generalizations  about  it.  (a)  It  is 
his  most  positive,  constructive  offering  in  the  book  as  well  as  in  his 
other  discussions  of  Christian  education ;  there  is  less  of  criticism  and 
more  of  theological  position.  It  is  not  uncommon  for  students  re- 
viewing his  book  today  to  single  out  this  chapter  as  the  most  sig- 
nificant for  them. 

(b)  It  is  almost  a  self-contained  essay,  least  integral  to  his 
book  and  critique  while  repeating  in  different  form  much  of  his  es- 
sential message  (as  many  ecclesiological  statements  do).  An  im- 
portant inclusion  is  his  characteristically  strong  social  ethic  of  the 
Christian  community. 

(c)  There  is  also  least  reference  here  to  the  earlier  history  of 
American  Christianity,  and  quite  understandably,  since  it  was  not 
just  religious  education  but  American  thought  generally  that  suf- 
fered poverty  of  understanding  of  the  Church  and  therefore  afforded 
little  historical  corrective  for  liberal  and  progressive  failings. 

(d)  There  are  two  notable  deficiencies  in  his  ecclesiology  of 
Christian  nurture  (if  we  may  judge  with  hindsight  of  a  quarter- 
century  and  more  recent  theological  reconceptions  of  Christian  edu- 
cation), namely,  the  Holy  Spirit  and  the  Sacraments!  The  scant 
attention  to  the  meaning  of  the  Holy  Spirit67  in  the  life  of  the  Church 
is  especially  noticeable  in  view  of  his  reiteration  here  of  the  doctrine 
of  Christ  as  "the  Mediator  through  whom  God  redeems  men  and 
unites  them  to  Himself  as  a  Christian  community,"68  which  might 
well  have  been  developed  into  a  full-blown  Trinitarian  doctrine  of 
the  Church.  But  Shelton  Smith  may  still  have  been  too  close  to  the 
early  Barthian  and  other  neo-orthodox  reaction  against  immanental- 
ist  theology  to  realize  how  dependent  Christian  nurture  is  on  the 
Holy  Spirit. 

(e)  As  for  the  Sacraments,  omitted  from  consideration  in  Faith 
and  Nurture,  it  is  instructive  to  note  that  his  lectures  thirteen  years 
later  in  Richmond  did  stress  baptism  as  sign  and  seal  of  the  covenant 
within  which  nurture  proceeds,  and  the  Lord's  Supper  as  means  of 

66.  "Christian  Faith  and  Its  Communication,"  the  unpublished  typescript 
consisting  of  "condensed  notes"  for  Professor  Smith's  August  2-12,  1954 
lectures,  available  in  his  personal  files. 

67.  The  Holy  Spirit  was  mentioned  briefly,  but  the  doctrine  not  developed, 
on  pp.  142,  144,  and  146  of  Faith  and  Nurture. 

68.  Ibid.,  p.  167. 


grace  and  nurture.69  That  same  year,  too — remembering  or  forget- 
ting his  own  earlier  omission? — he  remarked  critically  the  failure  of 
an  important  new  book  in  Christian  education  to  take  into  account 
the  place  of  the  Sacraments  in  Christian  nurture!70 

(2)  In  Faith  and  Nurture  he  intended  neither  historical  nor 
comprehensive  interpretation  of  the  Church  but  emphasis  on  aspects 
of  the  doctrine  neglected  in  religious  educational  theory.71  This 
neglect  and  even  unconcern  on  the  part  of  religious  educators  could 
be  attributed,  he  suggested,  to  such  factors  as  the  relative  autonomy 
of  the  Sunday  school,  to  the  influence  of  secular  educational  theory, 
to  liberal  concern  with  the  Kingdom  of  God  in  contradistinction  to 
the  Church,  to  pre-occupation  with  "religion"  or  "religious  expe- 
rience" rather  than  the  merely  instrumental  religious  institution, 
and  to  the  pervasive  influence  of  sect-type  Protestant  emphasis  on 
experimental  religion  and  the  voluntary  fellowship.72  While  Smith 
could  acknowledge  that  American  Protestantism  generally  shared 
with  liberal  nurture  this  ecclesiological  deficiency,  he  could  now  hail 
a  "rising  tide  of  interest"  in  the  doctrine  of  the  Church  but  at  the 
same  time  lament  the  unresponsiveness  and  even  resistance  of  some 
religious  educators.73  He  was  concerned  that  Christian  educators 
see  the  Church  as  a  distinctive  community  of  Christian  nurture:  as 
(a)  the  "community  of  the  divine  initiative,"  (b)  the  "community 
of  the  ultimate  fulfilment  of  life,"  (c)  "the  Christian  center  of  com- 
munity," and  (d)  the  "community  of  divine  mediation."74  A  brief 
notice  of  each  of  these  themes,  some  already  developed  in  other  parts 
of  his  book,  will  sum  up  his  teaching. 

(a)  He  began  with  a  characteristic  theocentric  perspective  on 
the  Church  as  the  "community  of  the  divine  initiative" : 

...  the  Church  claims  to  be  a  distinctive  community  in  respect  of  its 
origin.  It  is  the  Christian  faith  that  the  Church  emerged  in  history, 
not  through  the  anticipation  of  man  but  through  the  antecedent  determi- 
nation of  God.    It  believes   itself  to  have  come  into  being  through  the 

69.  Lectures  Seven  and  Eight,  "Christian  Faith  and  Its  Communication," 
op.  cit.,  pp.  27ff.  and  32ff. 

70.  In  a  review  of  James  D.  Smart,  The  Teaching  Ministry  of  the  Church 
(The  Westminster  Press,  1954),  published  in  The  Westminster  Bookman. 

71.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  140f. 

72.  Ibid.,  pp.  136-139. 

73.  Ibid.,  pp.  139f. :  Some  perceived  in  this  new  doctrinal  interest  "a  subtle 
method  to  enslave  religion  in  a  new  form  of  authoritarianism;  some  ...  a 
mode  of  ecclesiastical  introversion;  and  others  ...  a  sign  of  escape  from  the 
realities  of  the  current  social  crisis." 

74.  From  chapter  subtitles,  ibid.,  pp.  141,  146,  151,  166. 


creative  act  of  the  Divine  Initiative,  as  manifested  in  the  Word  made 
flesh  in  Jesus  Christ.75 

Echoing  Edinburgh  here,  he  proceeded  with  current  theology  and 
historical  scholarship  to  affirm  that  Jesus  was,  if  not  formally  and 
consciously,  at  least  essentially,  the  founder  of  the  Church : 

(Jesus)  became  the  center  of  a  community  which  in  essence  constituted 
the  Church.  The  immediate  fruit  of  Jesus'  ministry  was  neither  a  New 
Testament  nor  a  formal  institution.  It  was,  rather,  a  dynamic  fellowship 
whose  creative  center  was  God  as  incarnated  in  Christ.  This  fellowship 
underwent  a  process  of  growth  in  its  understanding  of  Jesus  Christ,  and 
also  in  its  apprehension  of  its  nature  and  mission  under  Christ's  leader- 

This  early  Christian  community  was  conscious  of  "its  religious  con- 
tinuity .  .  .  with  the  Old  Israel,"  but  also  increasingly  aware  of 
being  "a  New  Israel"  with  "the  ardent  faith  that  the  promised  Mes- 
siah had  already  entered  history  in  the  person  of  Jesus  Christ,  and 
that  this  same  Christ  would  also  shortly  return  to  consummate  the 
Kingdom  of  God."77  This  New  Israel,  however,  had  "a  growing 
assurance  that  God  through  Christ  had  offered  mankind  a  new  center 
of  fellowship,"  and  its  dynamic  was  "the  Holy  Spirit,  which  the 
early  Christians  recognized  as  the  gracious  gift  of  God."78 

These  quotations  representing  Shelton  Smith's  new  understanding 
of  the  Church  in  terms  of  the  divine  initiative  could  be  sharply  con- 
trasted with  left-wing  liberal  reduction  of  the  Church  to  "an  emergent 
of  the  social  process."79  Yet  his  criticism  was  tempered  here  with 
appreciation  of  truth  in  such  perspectives  of  the  social  sciences,  in 
which  his  own  earlier  thought  had  been  rooted.  He  acknowledged 
that  "the  Church  as  a  reality  of  history  emerges  within  the  social 
matrix  and  mediates  its  message  through  existing  patterns  of  human 
culture  ....  the  relative  forms  of  imperfect  society.  Only  thus  in 
fact  would  Christian  nurture  be  at  all  possible."80  Indeed,  without 
such  empirical  understanding  Christian  nurture  was  in  danger  of 
"dogmatism  and  obscurantism."  But  with  this  social  character,  the 
"supra-social"  origin  of  the  Christian  fellowship  must  also  be  recog- 

75.  Ibid.,  p.  141.  This  section  is  sprinkled  with  references  to  the  literature 
of  the  Edinburgh  Conference  on  Faith  and  Order  and  to  other  current  studies 
of  the  beginnings  of  the  Church. 

76.  Ibid.,  p.  142. 

77.  Ibid.,  p.  143. 

78.  Ibid.,  p.  144. 

79.  Ibid. 

80.  Ibid.,  p.  145. 


nized  (as  in  this  significant  but  uncommon  word  of  Smith  about  the 
Holy  Spirit)  : 

The  Church  is,  for  faith,  the  unique  creation  of  God  in  Christ  and  in 
the  Holy  Spirit.  This  is  the  basis  for  being  a  true  koinonia,  a  true  com- 
munity of  the  Spirit.  Human  creatures  are  bound  together  in  Christian 
fellowship,  but  the  uniting  bond  of  that  fellowship  is  God-given.  Human 
creatures  experience  fellowship  with  one  another  in  the  Spirit,  but  they  do 
not  create  the  Spirit.  Human  culture  fashions  the  forms  through  which 
the  Christian  fellowship  nurtures  human  creatures,  but  culture  does  not 
generate  the  living  reality  that  sustains  the  forms.81 

Here,  if  only  it  could  have  been  developed,  was  a  promise  of  rap- 
prochement between  the  nurture  well  founded  in  the  social  sciences 
and  the  new  theology  corrected  by  a  more  meaningful  doctrine  of 
the  Spirit. 

(b)  The  Church  is  also  the  "community  of  ultimate  fulfilment 
of  life."  With  this  theme  Smith  could  develop  for  ecclesiology  the 
basic  positions  on  eschatology  and  ethics  of  his  second  chapter, 
"Beyond  the  Social-Gospel  Idea  of  the  Kingdom  of  God."82  He 
related  this  second  point  closely  to  the  first: 

As  the  Church  is  a  community  whose  creative  source  transcends  the 
empirical  world-process,  so  the  Church  is  a  community  whose  ultimate 
fulfilment  points  beyond  the  plane  of  historical  existence.  If  the  Church 
has  its  ultimate  origin  in  the  Kingdom  of  God,  it  has  also  its  ultimate 
consummation  only  in  the  Kingdom  of  God.  .  .  .  the  Kingdom  is  the 
normative  reality  of  the  Church  and  of  Christian  nurture.  .  .  .  the  his- 
torical Church  is  in  disparity  with  the  Kingdom,  and  therefore  is  under 
its  judgment.83 

The  Christian  community  remains  always  of  "contradictory  or  am- 
bivalent character" ;  the  Body  of  Christ  "knows  itself  to  be  a  very 
imperfect  body";  the  Church  has  always  fallen  short  of  "the  per- 
fection of  the  Kingdom";  and  both  historical  experience  and  theo- 
logical realism  warn  against  any  hope  that  the  Church  can  "nurture 
human  life  into  absolute  fulfilment  of  Christian  fellowship  on  the 
plane  of  historical  existence."84  Here  Smith  did  not  need  to  review 
at  length  his  earlier  indictments  of  liberal  evolutionary  optimism 
over  progressive  "social  realization  of  the  Kingdom."85  He  was 
more  immediately  exercised  over  the  opposite  theological  perversion, 
whether  in  the  defense  of  slavery  in  the  Old  South  or  in  the  political 

81.  Ibid.,  p.  146. 

82.  Ibid.,  pp.  33-66,  especially  pp.  54ff.  and  61ff. 

83.  Ibid.,  pp.   146f. 

84.  Ibid.,  pp.  147-149.    Here  he  cited  the  support  of  Reinhold  Niebuhr,  C.  H. 
Dodd,  and  other  spokesmen  of  "current  religious  thought." 

85.  Ibid.,  p.  148. 


docility  of  German  Christians  speaking  at  Madras,  which  "in  effect 
sanctions  the  existing  structure  of  society  in  the  name  of  an  abso- 
lutely transcendent  Kingdom  of  God."86  In  a  key  paragraph  Shelton 
Smith  declared  his  own  position  as  to  what  it  means  to  acknowledge 
the  Kingdom  of  God  as  "the  normative  reality  of  the  Church  and 
of  Christian  nurture"  :87 

A  realistic  Christian  nurture,  then,  is  not  at  liberty  to  dissolve  the 
ethical  tension  that  exists  between  the  Church  and  the  Kingdom  of  God, 
either  by  way  of  an  optimistic  liberalism  that  tends  to  equate  the  Kingdom 
with  an  ideal  social  community,  or  by  way  of  a  pessimistic  dualism  that 
transfers  the  realm  of  the  Kingdom  to  a  world  totally  outside  the  process 
of  human  history.  The  world  of  social  history  is  neither  a  demonic 
vacuum  nor  is  it  the  plane  on  which  perfection  of  fellowship  is  achieved. 
The  Church  is  a  community  that  nurtures  mankind  in  the  faith  that  even 
though  perfect  fellowship  may  not  be  realized  on  the  plane  of  human 
history,  yet  history  is  the  scene  in  which  the  Kingdom  is  at  work  among 
men,  and  may  be  indefinitely  approximated.  The  Church  is  also  a  com- 
munity that  lives  in  the  faith  that  ultimate  fulfilment  of  life  in  the 
Kingdom  of  God  is  assured.88 

(c)  From  this  position,  as  foundational  for  his  Christian  ethics  as 
for  Christian  nurture,  he  proceeded  to  develop  under  his  next  point 
on  "the  Christian  center  of  community"  what  was  essentially  a 
critical  social  ethic.  Here  he  could  pour  forth  the  concerns  and  ma- 
terials of  years  of  courses  (and  action!)  in  Christian  ethics.  In  some 
ways  this  development  is  not  integral  to  Faith  and  Nurture:  it  is 
minimally  doctrinal,  deals  with  nurture  only  secondarily,  and  though 
trenchantly  critical  of  Church  and  culture,  contains  no  word  of 
polemic  against  progressive  religious  education  or  liberal  theology ; 
indeed,  it  even  makes  approving  use  of  two  of  George  A.  Coe's 
books  and  echoes  liberal  ethics — though  with  a  crucially  different 
norm  of  community  in  Christ.  In  another  way  it  is  theologically 
salutary  that  this  book  on  the  Christian  faith  and  Christian  nurture 
provided  the  context  of  an  emerging  doctrine  of  the  Church,  and 
that  this  ecclesiology  was  the  context  of  a  social  ethic  (albeit  hardly 
integral   to   the   developing  argument   of   the   book).89    This   social 

86.  Ibid.,  pp.  149f. 

87.  Ibid.,  p.  147. 

88.  Ibid.,  p.   151. 

89.  That  this  was  not  a  fortuitous  development,  however,  but  related  to  the 
progress  in  Shelton  Smith's  own  thought,  is  suggested  by  a  discernible  under- 
lying continuity  in  his  intellectual  and  professional  pilgrimage  at  Duke,  where 
he  began  with  studies  in  religious  education  which  included  social  reconstruction 
and  American  civilization,  moved  into  current  theology,  Christian  ethics,  and 
American  thought,  eventually  omitting  religious  education,  and  finally  settled 
in  American  religious  thought.    See  my  first  article,  op.  cit.,  especially  pp.  133f. 


ethic  was  rooted,  then,  in  the  Church  as  understood  in  terms  of 
the  preceding  points,  but  more  especially  in  terms  of  its  essential 
oneness  in  Christ,  "the  unifying  center  of  Christian  fellowship."90 
Normatively,  as  in  the  New  Testament  (anchor  of  all  these  points 
on  the  Church),91  the  Church  knows  itself  to  be  "one  community" 
by  virtue  of  "this  Christocentric  bond."92 

This  essential  unity  in  Christ  distinguishes  the  Christian  com- 
munity from  other  empirical  communities,  and  especially  from  those 
which  tend  to  ascribe  ultimacy  to  their  "unifying  bonds"  of  nation, 
class,  or  race.  In  those  beginning  war  years  (this  was  written 
between  1939  and  1941),  it  was  all  too  evident  how  such  corporate 
idolatries  imperiled  human  relationships  and  human  existence  itself. 
"Unless  these  empirical  entities  .  .  .  can  find  a  center  beyond  them- 
selves,"  Shelton  Smith  gravely  warned,  "the  future  of  world  com- 

(including  note  23)  and  137f.,  on  the  development  of  these  successive  teaching 
fields  out  of  his  investigations  of  the  crisis,  context,  and  historical  background 
of  religious  educational  thought. 

The  Christian  social  ethic  of  Faith  and  Nurture  was  thus  not  a  new 
emergent  but  a  converted  one.  Shortly  after  Shelton  Smith  came  to  Duke  as 
Professor  of  Religious  Education,  the  School  of  Religion  catalog  for  April 
1932  included  this  course:  "Religious  Education  in  Social  Reconstruction. 
Following  the  consideration  of  religious  education  as  a  social  process,  one  or 
more  major  social  issues  in  contemporary  civilization  will  be  critically  examined 
from  the  standpoint  of  education's  contribution  toward  social  reconstruction." 
By  April  1937  this  progressive  educational  approach  had  evolved  into  "Ethical 
Theory  of  Christian  Education.  The  implications  of  Christian  ethics  for  reli- 
gious education  in  contemporary  society." 

In  the  April  1938  catalog  he  had  become  Professor  of  Christian  Ethics  and 
Religious  Education  and  was  offering  a  new  course  listed  under  Philosophy  of 
Religion  as  "Christian  Ethics.  An  historical  and  systematic  study  of  Christian 
conceptions  of  the  moral  life  and  its  problems."  In  May  1940  he  had  a  new 
"Seminar  in  Christian  Ethics.  A  critical  study  of  selected  problems" — in  what 
was  now  the  department  of  Philosophy  of  Religion  and  Christian  Ethics.  By 
the  next  year,  May  1941  (Faith  and  Nurture  was  published  that  November), 
he  was  simply  Professor  of  Christian  Ethics,  and  no  longer  offered  courses  in 
Religious  Education". 

In  the  restructured  curriculum  of  the  May  1945  catalog  the  new  Division  of 
Historical  Studies  included  the  new  department  of  American  Religious  Thought, 
in  which  Shelton  Smith  listed  seven  courses  (including  "Social  Thought  in 
American  Christianity,"  "Modern  American  Christology,"  and  period  surveys), 
while  still  listing  others  in  the  department  of  Christian  Ethics  and  Philosophy 
of  Religion,  in  the  Division  of  Theological  Studies.  By  May  1946  he  could 
leave  Christian  Ethics  to  Waldo  Beach  and  settle  into  historical  studies  as 
Professor  of  American  Religious  Thought.  (See  the  Bulletin  of  the  School  of 
Religion  of  Duke  University,  1932-1946,  passim.)  Thus  has  his  scholarly 
career   instanced   that   favorite   progressive   theme   of   "continuity  and   change." 

90.  Faith  and  Nurture,  p.  151. 

91.  He  cited  particularly  I  Corinthians  1:12-13  ("Is  Christ  divided?")  and 
Ephesians  4:4-6  ("one  Lord,  one  faith,  one  baptism,  one  God  and  Father  of 
all,  who  is  over  all,  and  through  all,  and  in  all"). 

92.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  151f. 


munity  is  dark."93  It  became  the  unique  responsibility  of  the  Church 
to  declare  the  true  and  ultimate  center  of  community  in  such  tragic 
times.  But  the  Church  had  so  obscured  or  denied  its  essential  one- 
ness by  its  practice,  succumbing  to  the  same  tensions  which  divide 
the  world,  that  it  could  neither  witness  prophetically  in  society  nor 
rightly  nurture  its  own.  Yet  Smith  saw  some  hope  that  the  Church 
might  be  awakened  to  its  true  unity  in  Christ  and  to  the  divisive 
forces  from  which  it  needed  rescue.94 

In  analyzing  certain  of  these  "factors  creating  empirical  disunity 
in  the  Church  as  a  nurturing  community,"  he  undertook  at  some 
length  (as  we  need  not  here)  both  a  Christian  critique  of  contem- 
porary culture  and  an  exposure  of  the  crises  of  an  acculturated 
Church.  One  of  those  divisive  factors  was  economic.  From  the 
standpoint  of  "its  essential  being  as  the  Body  of  Christ,"  Smith  de- 
clared, "the  Church  is  a  community  of  nurture  which  cannot  recog- 
nize men  as  economic  men,  but  only  as  persons  made  in  the  image  of 
God  and  therefore  as  equal  sons  of  the  same  Father."95  But  in 
Western  culture,  economic  interests  had  become  autonomous  and 
then  normative  social  values ;  and  the  Church  had  both  sanctioned 
such  autonomy  and  accommodated  to  the  "ethic  of  the  economic 
man"  to  the  point  of  becoming  a  "class  church"  and  nurturing  its 
young  in  a  "class  religion."96  Another  division  was  racial.  Although 
essentially  a  "supra-racial"  Church,  for  which  "men  are  never  race 
men"  but  equal  sons  of  God  in  common  fellowship,  the  Christian 
community  had  taken  on  and  reproduced  the  racial  tensions  and  pat- 
terns of  society.  The  logic  of  this  racialism  would  be  "the  emergence 
of  racial  religions"  and  the  racial  absolutism  of  Nazism.  "This  chal- 
lenge," said  Shelton  Smith,  "makes  it  all  the  more  imperative  for 
American  Christianity  to  mitigate  the  evils  of  racialism.  The  Church's 
first  step  is  to  transcend  racial  disunity  within  its  own  household, 
otherwise  the  very  nurture  which  it  generates  will  be  reduced  to 
further  impotency."97  Nationalism,  the  third  divisive  force,  Smith 
regarded  as  "perhaps  the  most  characteristic  feature  of  modern 
civilization."  Analyzing  the  rise  of  the  newer  "primitive  religion" 
of  extreme  nationalism,  he  took  it  to  be  both  a  judgment  on  and  a 
threat  to  the  Church:  a  judgment  in  that  the  failure  of  traditional 
religion  was  a  factor  in  the  turn  to  new  centers  of  ultimate  devo- 

93.  Ibid.,  p.  152. 

94.  Ibid.,  pp.  152f. 

95.  Ibid.,  pp.  153f. 

96.  Ibid.,  pp.  154-157. 

97.  Ibid.,    pp.    157160.     Someone    should    soon   write    the    story    of    Shelton 
Smith's  long-time  crusade  for  racial  justice! 


tion;  a  threat  both  in  overt  rivalry  and  in  pervasive  nationalist  in- 
fluence in  the  Church  itself,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  "in  its  essential 
being  the  Church  is  one  universal  community,  transcending  all 
cultural  and  national  limits."98 

The  fourth  dividing  influence,  sectarianism  or  denominationalism, 
was  of  the  empirical  Church  itself  rather  than  a  corruption  by  so- 
ciety." Smith  deplored  the  fragmenting  of  the  one  Body  of  Christ 
into  numerous  differing  churches,  "each  regarding  itself  as  a  true 
Church,  if  not  the  only  one."  He  called  for  a  more  vigorous  post- 
war ecumenical  initiative  on  the  part  of  the  churches  themselves  to 
overcome  their  disunity.  It  would  not  suffice  to  celebrate  the  present 
transcendent  unity  of  the  Church  in  Christ:  that  should  entail  not  a 
complacency  but  a  sense  of  "divine  judgment  against  our  dissident 
historical  churches."  He  especially  lamented  the  "restrictive  and 
ambiguous"  character  of  sectarian  nurture  which  prepared  the  child 
for  sectarian  churchmanship  even  while  suggesting  that  he  belonged 
to  the  whole  Church.100  In  view  of  such  sectarianism,  then,  and  of 
the  nationalistic,  racialist,  and  class  commitments  of  the  acculturated 
Church,  "it  cannot  be  denied  that  the  Church  itself  is  devoid  of  a 
radical  consciousness  of  Christ  as  the  supra-social  center  of  Christian 
community.  In  this  unhappy  situation,"  Shelton  Smith  concluded, 
"the  empirical  Church  thus  inevitably  nurtures  both  children  and 
adults  in  something  less  than  one  community  in  Jesus  Christ."101 

(d)  The  Church  is  a  distinctive  community  of  Christian  nurture, 
finally,  in  that  it  is  a  "community  of  divine  mediation."  Turning 
from  critical  ethic  to  more  evangelical  proclamation,  Shelton  Smith 
drew  into  his  new  context  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Church  the  essence 
of  earlier  declarations  about  man  and  Christ  and  salvation.  But  now, 
with  less  of  analytical  and  critical  exposition,  they  could  be  offered 
in  more  organic  unity  and  positive  witness. 

The  very  existence  of  the  Church,  he  premised,  bears  witness  to 
the  gravity  of  man's  predicament,  the  inadequacy  of  any  human  com- 
munity to  deliver  him,  and  his  need  for  God's  special  saving  action 
in  Jesus  Christ  as  "the  Mediator  through  whom  God  redeems  men 
and  unites  them  to  Himself  as  a  Christian  community."102  As  be- 
fore, Smith  represented  the  "mediative  role"  of  Jesus  Christ  under 

98.  Ibid.,  pp.  160-162. 

99.  He  could  have  made  this  fourth  point  commensurate  with  the  others, 
however,  by  citing  H.  Richard  Niebuhr,  The  Social  Sources  of  Denomina- 
tionalism  (Henry  Holt  and  Company,  1929). 

100.  Faith  and  Nurture,  pp.  163-166. 

101.  Ibid.,  p.  166. 

102.  Ibid.,  pp.  166f. 


two  aspects,  both  basic  to  Christian  nurture:  God's  judgment  on 
"a  world  of  sinful  existence,"  and  the  gospel  of  his  forgiving  love  in 
Christ.103  But  in  the  present  context,  and  recalling  the  perennial 
intrusion  of  the  world's  ways  into  the  Church,  he  emphasized  that 
the  judgment  of  God  in  Christ  "is  mediated  not  merely  through  the 
Church  to  the  world,  but  also,  and  first  of  all,  to  the  world  in  the 
Church  itself.  .  .  .  Therefore,  divine  judgment  through  the  Church 
must  always  'begin  at  the  house  of  God.'  "104 

As  he  reformulated  this  word  of  judgment  and  of  mercy  for  the 
Church,  however,  Shelton  Smith  evidently  thought  in  terms  of  the 
evangel  to  the  individual  member  rather  than  to  the  erring  corporate 
community.  The  essence  of  the  matter,  and  indeed,  apart  from  his 
ecclesiology,  the  recurring  main  doctrinal  theme  of  Faith  and  Nurture, 
came  to  this : 

Divine  judgment  upon  human  sinfulness  presupposes  a  revelation  in 
history  of  the  true  end  of  human  existence.  It  is  thus  the  faith  of  the 
Church  that  the  Word  became  flesh  in  Jesus  Christ  not  only  to  reveal  the 
true  character  of  God,  but  also  to  disclose  what  man  is  in  his  essential 
nature.  From  the  perspective  of  the  Incarnation  man  is  not  only  a 
sinner;  he  is  a  child  of  God.  In  the  Word  made  flesh  man  sees  himself 
not  only  as  one  who  is  estranged  from  the  Kingdom  of  God,  but  also  as 
one  who  may  be  redeemed  into  loving  fellowship  with  the  Father.  Thus 
man  is  conscious  of  the  divine  judgment  only  because  he  is  aware  that  his 
conduct  contradicts  the  law  of  Christ,  which  is  the  law  of  love.  .  .  .  Unless 
man  does  know  himself  to  be  under  divine  judgment,  there  is  not  the 
slightest  possibility  that  he  will  seek  personal  salvation.  .  .  .  But  if  judg- 
ment is  a  necessary  element  in  the  nurture  of  the  Christian  community, 
it  does  not  of  itself  restore  man  to  fellowship  in  the  Kingdom  of 
God.  ...  A  recognition  of  this  fact  at  once  discloses  the  other  aspect  of 
the  mediating  role  of  Christ.  For  in  Jesus  Christ  the  Kingdom  of  God 
comes  to  mankind  not  merely  in  judgment  but  in  mercy.  The  ultimate 
character  of  the  gospel  reveals  itself  not  in  condemnation  but  in  a  love 
that  "taketh  away  the  sins  of  the  world."  From  the  perspective  of  divine 
love,  the  gospel  is  "good  news,"  not  unmitigated  judgment.  ...  A  God 
whose  "wrath"  against  human  sinfulness  is  sharper  than  a  two-edged 
sword  is  yet  a  God  who  does  not  reckon  the  repentant  believer's  tres- 
passes against  him.  This  paradoxical  truth  eludes  every  canon  of  human 
reason,  yet  it  is  the  wisdom  of  the  gospel.105 

Smith  found  the  preaching  and  teaching  of  the  modern  Church 
deficient  of  this  paradoxical  "wisdom  of  the  gospel,"  and  especially 
in  regard  to  the  gospel  of  divine  forgiveness.  On  the  one  hand,  there 
was  a  "sentimentalist  strain"  in  much  of  liberal  Protestantism  that 

103.  Ibid.,  pp.  167,  169. 

104.  Ibid.,  p.  167,  citing  I  Peter  4:17. 

105.  Ibid.,  pp.   167-169. 


"took  God's  forgiveness  for  granted,  as  something  to  be  expected 
from  a  loving  Father."106  On  the  other  hand,  there  were  more  real- 
istic liberals  who  repudiated  the  "mushy  sentimentalism"  of  this 
"saccharine  gospel"  and  preached  instead  a  more  rigorous  gospel  of 
"ethical  righteousness"  in  devotion  to  Jesus'  ideals  of  altruistic  love, 
forgiveness  of  enemies,  and  loyal  service  to  the  Kingdom  of  God.107 
But  Smith  saw  in  this  supposed  realism  an  actually  unrealistic  opti- 
mism about  human  goodness  and  moral  ability :  it  too  was  a  "senti- 
mental gospel"  revealing  "the  complacency  of  a  moralistic  and  self- 
saving  culture."  A  more  truly  realistic  gospel  must  recognize  the 
depths  of  the  human  predicament  and  offer  the  saving  mercy  of 
divine  deliverance.108  Only  this,  Shelton  Smith  was  saying  through- 
out his  book,  would  serve  for  the  renewal  of  Christian  faith  and 

The  Sequel  to  FAITH  AND  NURTURE 
Faith  and  Nurture  was  given  quick  and  wide  currency  as  the 
November,  1941  selection  of  the  Religious  Book  Club,  and  extensive 
reviews  in  leading  theological  and  ecclesiastical  journals.  Its  circula- 
tion mounted  through  repeated  printings  in  the  next  decade,  and  only 
recently  has  it  gone  out  of  print  (to  the  dismay  of  librarians  and 
theological  students  who  need  this  unique  chapter  in  the  development 
of  religious  education  and  thus  of  American  religious  thought). 
Response  to  Faith  and  Nurture  was  varied  and  vigorous.  It  was  the 
focus  of  a  discussion  on  "Has  Religious  Education  Departed  from 
the  Faith?"  at  the  meeting  of  the  Professors  and  Research  Section 
of  the  International  Council  of  Religious  Education  in  February, 
1942,  led  by  critics  Harrison  S.  Elliott,  William  Clayton  Bower, 
and  Donald  W.  Riddle,  along  with  advocate  E.  O.  Homrighausen.109 
Stewart  G.  Cole  also  read  a  paper  which  included  a  strong  critique 
of  Smith's  views.  The  International  Journal  of  Religious  Education 
gave  attention  to  the  book  in  four  successive  issues,  with  an  intro- 
ductory summary  review  by  editor  Percy  R.  Hayward,  a  "trenchant 
criticism"  by  Bower,  a  "spirited  and  pointed  reply"  by  Shelton 
Smith,  and  a  concluding  editorial  statement  by  Hayward.110    As  for 

106.  Ibid.,  p.  169.  107.  Ibid.,  pp.  169-171. 

108.  Ibid.,  pp.  171f. 

109.  Smith  was  not  present ;  he  was  involved  in  lectures.    See  p.  125  below. 

110.  See  Hay  ward's  review  in  International  Journal  of  Religious  Education, 
XVIII,  No.  3  (November  1941),  p.  38;  W.  C.  Bower,  "Has  Christian  Edu- 
cation Departed  from  the  Faith?"  in  ibid.,  XVIII,  No.  4  (December  1941),  pp. 
3,  32;  H.  S.  Smith,  "A  Reply  to  Dr.  Bower,"  ibid.,  XVIII,  No.  S  (January 
1942),  pp.  3,  36;  and  P.  R.  Hayward,  "How  Liberal  Is  Christian  Education?" 
in  ibid.,    XVIII,  No.  6  (February  1942),  pp.  3,  7. 


the  Religious  Education  Association,  its  journal  Religions  Education 
promptly  carried  Edward  Scribner  Ames'  hostile  review  and  Cole's 
critical  address.111  Meanwhile  veteran  progressive  George  A.  Coe 
and  New  Testament  scholar  Riddle  joined  the  issues  with  Smith 
through  lengthy  correspondence,  as  did  Elliott,  Bower,  and  others 
through  reviews  and  letters.  It  would  be  instructive,  if  space  and 
propriety  allowed,  to  examine  this  controversial  correspondence 

But  a  study  of  the  voluminous  file  of  letters  about  Faith  and 

111.  For  Ames'  review,  see  Religious  Education,  XXXVII,  No.  1  (January- 
February  1942),  pp.  60f. ;  and  for  Stewart  G.  Cole's  paper  to  the  Professors  and 
Research  Section,  "The  Place  of  Christian  Education  in  a  Crisis  of  Cultures," 
ibid.,  XXXVII,  No.  2  (March-April  1942),  pp.  80-94.  It  was  Cole's  paper  at 
the  1936  Religious  Education  Association  meeting  which  Smith  had  attacked  in 
his  address  and  article,  "Is  Religious  Naturalism  Enough?"— his  first  open 
break  with  the  R.  E.  A. 

112.  Harrison  S.  Elliott,  Coe's  successor  at  Union  Theological  Seminary, 
and  strong  defender  of  progressive  religious  education  against  neo-orthodoxy  in 
his  book,  Can  Religious  Education  Be  Christian?  (The  Macmillan  Company, 
1940),  again  defended  the  progressives'  positions,  yielding  little  to  Smith, 
countering  strongly,  and  discerningly  suspecting  "that  Dr.  Smith  is  nearer 
to  the  liberal  religious  education  which  he  criticizes  than  his  sweeping  and 
drastic  criticisms  would  seem  to  indicate."  (See  Elliott's  review  in  the  May 
1942  Review  of  Religion,  pp.  184-188.) 

We  may  be  permitted  one  illuminating  paragraph  from  Smith's  letter  of 
May  15,  1942  in  reply  to  Elliott's  review :  "As  a  subscriber  to  The  Review  of 
Religion,  I  saw  your  review  of  my  book  a  few  days  ago.  Feeling  as  you  do, 
you  must  have  labored  considerably  to  avoid  kicking  me  down  the  steps  of  the 
modern  house  of  religious  education.  I  am  glad  you  found  the  chapter  on  the 
church  somewhat  to  your  liking.  That  chapter  is  to  me,  too,  the  best  one  in  the 
book.  I  think  I  could  write  my  present  positive  viewpoint  wholly  in  terms  of 
the  framework  of  that  chapter.  In  that  case  do  you  think  I  would  come  out  a 
liberal  ?" 

Perhaps  the  most  significant  exchange  was  between  Smith  and  Coe,  whom 
Smith  admired  and  acknowledged  to  be  the  "pathfinder"  and  foremost  spokes- 
man of  progressive  religious  education,  but  whom  he  therefore  most  often 
quoted  in  criticizing  that  movement.  While  we  cannot  here  analyze  their  con- 
tinuing arguments,  two  brief  quotations  from  Coe's  letter  of  January  9,  1942 
are  too  characteristic  of  this  undaunted  liberal  to  omit.    Said  Coe: 

".  .  .  Let  me  say  that  your  book  has  selected  passages  that,  as  far  as  they 
go,  are  on  the  whole  truly  representative  of  my  thought.  As  I  came  upon  the 
mounting  number  of  them,  I  was  somewhat  thrilled  to  realize  how  many  good 
things  I  have  managed  to  say!  But  why  in  the  world  didn't  you  quote  the 
passages  that,  from  your  point  of  view,  are  the  most  damning  ones?  I  am 
far,  far  more  guilty  than  you  have  made  me  out  to  be,  for  from  my  student 
days  onward  I  have  rejected  what  I  suppose  to  be  the  essential  presuppositions 
that  underlie  your  criticisms  of  my  views." 

Finally,  after  analysis  of  their  differences  with  regard  to  "ethical  love"  in 
religious  education,  Coe  concluded  that  same  letter  thus:  "What,  then?  Only 
this:  Faith,  hope,  love  abide,  'and  the  greatest  of  these  is  love.'  Paul  was 
speaking  of  love  of  men  for  one  another.  This  abides  between  you  and  me, 
though  one  of  us  certainly  is  mistaken  in  his  thinking  about  it.  Faithfully  yours, 
George  A.  Coe." 


Nurture,  along  with  the  collection  of  about  twenty-five  reviews, 
would  show  their  tenor  to  be  predominantly  appreciative,  often 
highly  laudatory.  Since  names  of  critics  have  already  appeared  above, 
it  is  but  fair  to  cite  a  selection  of  more  favorable  respondents,  includ- 
ing William  Adams  Brown,  Halford  E.  Luccock,  F.  Ernest  Johnson, 
Edwin  Lewis,  Carl  H.  Voss,  E.  McNeill  Poteat,  Harry  T.  Stock, 
Arlo  Ayres  Brown,  Elmer  O.  Homrighausen,  John  C.  Bennett,  Nels 
F.  S.  Ferre,  and  Paul  H.  Vieth.  Add  Bishop  Paul  B.  Kern,  a  leading 
educational  statesman  in  Methodism  and  a  resident  of  Durham  during 
a  period  of  Shelton  Smith's  early  wrestling  with  the  faith  of  religious 
education.  Bishop  Kern  read  Faith  and  Nurture  and  told  the  General 
Board  of  Education  that  it  was  an  "epoch-making"  book  which  they 
must  take  into  account  (but  that  Board  was  slow  to  understand  or 
acknowledge  such  a  theological  critique  of  liberal  religious  educa- 
tion! ). 

Thus  the  range  of  responses  was  varied,  and  far  too  significant 
for  detailed  analysis  and  representation  here.  In  general,  there  were 
some  whose  progressive  views  he  had  most  sharply  attacked  (Coe, 
Bower,  Ames,  for  examples)  who  countered  by  characterizing  Shel- 
ton Smith's  critique  as  a  regrettable  expression  of  resurgent  theo- 
logical authoritarianism.  Bower  closed  his  counter-criticism  with 
the  lament  that  "one  so  forceful  and  so  able"  had  elected  to  join 
their  "contemporary  ancestors"  ;113  and  Ames  concluded  with  the 
implication  that  Smith  had  successfully  illuminated  two  irrecon- 
cilably divergent  ways  in  religious  education,  his  way  and  theirs ;  and 
they  had  no  misgivings  over  which  was  right  and  appropriate  to 
this  century!114  Some  were  willing  to  acknowledge  the  corrective 
value  of  Smith's  positions,  but  regarded  his  book  as  too  negative  or 
as  too  severely  critical  of  the  less  representative,  more  extreme  side 
of  modern  religious  education.  Others  agreed  with  Smith  in  the  main 
but  cavilled  at  isolated  particulars.  A  few  were  objective — and  per- 
ceptive— enough  to  see  that  Smith's  intention  was  constructive  as 
well  as  critical,  and  to  discern  in  his  views  a  productive  tension  be- 
tween his  continuing  liberal  commitments  and  his  neo-Reformation 
perspectives.  Some  welcomed  the  resolute  application  to  religious 
education  of  a  theological  credo  congenial  with  their  older  conserva- 
tism or  their  emerging  neo-orthodoxy.  Many  of  various  persuasions 
hailed  the  book  as  the  salutary  beginning  of  a  new  day  in  Christian 
education,  and  called  on   Smith  to  proceed  beyond  this  theological 

113.  Bower,   op.  cit.,  p.  36. 

114.  Ames,   op.   cit.,  p.  61. 


ground-clearing  to  the  positive  construction  of  a  new  philosophy  of 
Christian  nurture. 

That  reconstructive  task,  however,  he  left  largely  to  others. 
Moreover,  with  the  publication  of  Faith  and  Nurture  he  discontinued 
offering  courses  in  "religious  education"  and  occupied  himself  with 
Christian  ethics  and  increasingly  with  the  development  of  American 
religious  thought.  But  Shelton  Smith  had  not  entirely  "left  the 
field"  of  religious  education.  Indeed,  as  he  privately  interprets  his 
pilgrimage  (and  as  we  have  endeavored  to  show),115  his  later  work 
in  American  thought  is  in  continuity  with  his  earlier  teaching  and 
study  in  religious  education.  He  is  still  enough  of  a  disciple  of 
Dewey  and  Coe  to  think  of  religion  in  its  cultural  aspects,  and  to 
be  on  the  side  of  the  religious  reconstruction  rather  than  merely  the 
conservation  of  culture;  and  he  can  see  his  work  with  history  of 
thought  as  a  continuing  effort  "to  liberate  from  the  shibboleths  of 
the  past"  through  the  study  of  cultural  dynamics  and  cultural  evolu- 
tion. Hence  he  can  answer  questioners  that  he  has  not  so  much 
changed  fields  as  followed  out  the  line  of  earlier  development.  In- 
deed, from  his  present  vantage-point  he  can  look  back  on  Faith  and 
Nurture  as  "a  tract  for  the  times,"  and  in  the  present  post-neo- 
orthodox  climate,  can  emphasize  the  need  for  better  appreciation  of 
our  corrected  but  continuing  "evangelical  liberalism."116 

Even  in  the  narrower  sense,  however,  he  did  not  "leave  the 
field"  of  religious  education  so  precipitously  as  some  have  thought. 
Although  his  major  contribution  had  been  made,  he  occasionally 
wrote  or  lectured  on  theological  reconstruction  in  Christian  nurture, 
for  more  than  a  decade.  More  than  brief  mention  here  would  be 
anti-climactic,  but  omission  of  the  following  instances  would  leave 
the  story  incomplete : 

( 1 )  Notice  has  already  been  taken  of  his  lectures  on  "Faith  and 
Nurture  in  Contemporary  Protestant  Thought"  at  Eden  Theological 
Seminary  and  Pacific  School  of  Religion  in  February,  1942  (while  his 
book  was  being  discussed  at  the  International  Council  of  Religious 
Education)  and  again  at  Austin  Presbyterian  Seminary  in  1947. 
On  the  whole  these  addresses  simply  expressed  more  popularly  the 
substance  of  his  book,  on  the  theological  crisis  of  religious  educa- 
tion and  the  themes  of  human  existence,  Christ,  and  the  Church. 
Among  the  significant  additions,  however,  was  a  more  adequate 
recognition  of   the  meaning  of  the   Holy   Spirit  than  we  found   in 

115.  See  my  preceding  footnote  89,  including  its  references  to  the  first 
article  in  this  series  on  Shelton  Smith. 

116.  These  interpretations  are  from  conversations  with  Shelton  Smith. 


Faith  and  Nurture.  There  he  had  emphasized  that  the  Church  has 
its  origin  and  destiny  in  God,  and  its  historical  beginning  and  ethical 
norm  in  Jesus  Christ;  but  now,  with  fuller  Trinitarian  idiom,  he 
attended  also  to  the  theme  of  its  "continuing  life  ...  in  the  power  of 
the  Holy  Spirit."117  Within  the  Church  as  the  "reconciled  and 
reconciling  community,"  he  affirmed,  "a  truly  reconciled  creature  is 
in  some  essential  sense  a  new  creature."  To  be  a  new  creature  in 
Christ,  according  to  Paul,  meant  that  "Christ  is  both  for  us  (Christus 
pro  nobis)  and  in  us  (Christus  in  nobis).  Christ  not  only  justifies 
us ;  He  renews  us  through  his  Spirit.  By  the  Spirit  the  new  creature 
bears  witness  to  his  sonship.  .  .  .  But  by  the  Spirit  also  men  grow 
more  like  Christ."118  This  Pauline  "assurance  both  of  God's  forgiving 
love  and  of  our  blessed  privilege,  through  the  Spirit,  of  growing  more 
like  Christ,"  underscored  for  Smith  "a  truth  of  highest  importance" 
in  the  doctrine  of  religious  growth  revived  by  Bushnell  and  empha- 
sized by  modern  religious  education.  Without  relaxing  his  guard 
against  "romantic"  or  "perfectionist  illusions,"  he  warned,  "Woe  be 
unto  the  Church  if  it  ever  again  allows  this  fundamental  truth  to 
slip  into  the  background  of  its  consciousness.  For  the  Christian  is 
growing,  continually  growing,  or  else  he  is  spiritually  decaying.  .  .  . 
continuous  growth  toward  perfection  is  both  a  divine  imperative  and 
a  human  possibility."119  Readers  of  Faith  and  Nurture  might  be 
surprised  at  this  further  doctrinal  undergirding  of  Christian  nurture. 
(2)  During  the  next  decade  Shelton  Smith  published  three  major 
articles  bearing  on  theology  and  nurture.  "There  are  some  signs  that 
modern  Protestant  nurture  may  be  on  the  threshold  of  a  deeper  per- 
ception of  the  realities  of  Christian  faith,"  he  declared  in  the  opening 
sentence  of  his  article  late  in  1942  on  "The  Supremacy  of  Christ 
in  Christian  Nurture"120  (which  we  have  discussed  already).  In 
February,  1947  he  read  a  paper  (published  in  1948)  on  "Evangelical 
Christian  Nurture"  before  the  Professors'  Section  of  the  Interna- 
tional Council  of  Religious  Education.121  Concerned  for  "the  evangel- 
ical nature  of  Christian  nurture,"  Smith  attributed  the  prevalent 
"evangelical  impotence"  largely  to  the  growing  secularization  of  the 
Church  and  the  faith  and  the  correlative  obscuring  of  normative 
Biblical  understanding  of  the  human  predicament  and  God's  redemp- 

117.  From  Lecture  Four,  "The  Church:  Community  of  Faith  and  Nurture," 
p.  6    (of  the  unpublished  typescript). 
118. /&«*.,  pp.  llf.,  16. 
l\9.  Ibid.,  PP.  14,   16f. 

120.  Religion  in  Life,  XII,  No.  1    (Winter,  1942-43),  pp.  31-40. 

121.  Religion  in  Life,  XVII,  No.  4   (Autumn,  1948),  pp.  549-558. 


tive  action  in  Christ.122  If  these  were  familiar  themes  by  now,  they 
were  developed  with  freshness  and  relevance,  and  with  certain  note- 
worthy accents :  for  example  (a)  his  insistence  that  the  principle  of 
"radical  tension  .  .  .  between  self-sovereignty  and  Divine  sovereignty" 
precludes  not  only  immanentalist  liberal  optimism  but  also  the  doc- 
trines of  total  depravity  associated  with  orthodoxy  and  with  Barth's 
view  of  the  "wholly  other";123  and  (b)  a  glowing  precis  of  the 
conflict  of  self-sovereignty  and  divine  reconciliation,  culminating  thus : 

For  one  thing,  there  is  the  persistent  awareness,  however  vague,  that  in 
the  vicarious  act  of  the  Cross  God,  in  Christ,  bore  the  ultimate  weight 
of  human  sin  and  thereby  enabled  the  tension-bound  self  to  trust  in  his 
reconciling  love.  Secondly,  there  is  the  grateful  admission  that  one 
owes  his  final  victory  over  self-sovereignty  to  a  mercy  that  is  unmerited. 
.  .  .  Lastly,  there  is  the  consciousness  that  the  new  creature  in  Christ 
belongs  to  a  Community  without  social  or  temporal  boundaries,  and 
beyond  human  construction.124 

The  third  article  was  a  very  different  one — a  remarkable  tribute  to 
"George  Albert  Coe:  Revaluer  of  Values,"125  published  the  year 
after  Coe's  death  in  1951.  This  appreciative  account  of  Coe's  reli- 
gious and  intellectual  development  and  contributions  to  American 
religious  thought  was  written  "to  discharge  'a  debt  to  a  man  who 
was  one  of  my  warmest  friends,  despite  our  disagreement  at  certain 
theological  points.'  "12e  Perhaps  the  theological  climate  may  soon 
be  favorable  for  a  new  revaluation  of  enduring  contributions  of  Coe, 
with  Shelton  Smith's  appreciation  as  a  beginning  point ! 

(3)  It  was  suggested  earlier  in  this  paper  that  the  section  on 
the  Church  was  the  most  constructive  part  of  Faith  and  Nurture; 
indeed,  Smith  had  responded  to  friendly  critic  Elliott's  preference 
for  that  chapter  with  the  word,  "The  chapter  is  to  me,  too,  the  best 
one  in  the  book.  I  think  I  could  write  my  present  positive  viewpoint 
wholly  in  terms  of  the  framework  of  that  chapter."127  While  he 
was  increasingly  too  absorbed  in  other  areas  of  scholarship  and  teach- 
ing to  follow  out  that  possibility,  he  did  later  consent  to  give  a 
series  of  nine  lectures  to  the  Presbyterian  Assembly's  Training 
School   in  Richmond,   Virginia,  August  2-12,    1954,  on   "Christian 

122.  Ibid.,  pp.  549,  551. 

123.  Ibid.,  pp.  554f. 

124.  Ibid.,  p.   558. 

125.  Religion  in  Life,  XXII,  No.  1    (Winter,  1952-53),  pp.  46-57. 

126.  Ibid.,  p.  46n.  For  other  tributes  to  Coe,  see  the  entire  issue  of  Re- 
ligious Education,  XLVII,  No.  2  (March-April  1952),  which  includes  also 
an  extensive  bibliography  of  Coe's  writings. 

127.  See  footnote    112,  above. 


Faith  and  Its  Communication"  ;128  and  these  were  developed  around 
the  doctrine  of  the  Church  for  Christian  nurture.  Convinced  that 
beneath  the  apparent  prosperity  of  American  Protestantism  the 
churches  were  spiritually  defensive,  and  "on  the  whole,  captives  of 
the  ruling  moral  ideals  and  social  patterns  of  our  culture,"  he  declared 
that  "our  primary  concern  is  how  to  undergo  renewal  of  the  Church 
itself" ;  and  while  such  renewal  is  not  man's  work  but  God's  gracious 
action,  man's  preparation  for  it  requires  "in  understanding  of  what 
the  Church  was  designed  to  be."129  For  lack  of  such  insight  in 
American  Protestantism,  "Christian  nurture  has  never  fulfilled  its 
true  mission  in  the  life  of  the  Christian  fellowship" ;  witness  its  one- 
sided or  partial  objectives — whether  child-centered,  character- 
centered,  or  Bible-centered — and  its  structural  cleavages  between  the 
Sunday  school  and  the  Church,  and  between  worship  and  instruc- 
tion.130 In  developing  an  ecclesiology  for  Christian  nurture,  Smith 
leaned  heavily  on  the  Biblical  guidance  of  T.  W.  Manson  {The 
Church's  Ministry)  and  C.  H.  Dodd  {The  Apostolic  Preaching),  and 
especially  on  Pauline  teaching  (including  Ephesians)  ;  and,  speaking 
to  Presbyterians,  he  incorporated  much  of  Calvin  and  the  Calvinistic 
tradition  to  recall  them  to  their  heritage.  On  these  bases  he  developed 
his  conception  of  the  ministry  of  the  whole  Christian  community;  of 
the  content  of  this  ministry  as  both  kerygma  for  those  outside  and 
didache  for  those  within  the  household  of  God ;  of  Biblical  and 
theological  renewal  of  the  Christian  fellowship  for  its  kerygmatic  and 
nurturing  ministries  as  well  as  its  social  mission ;  of  the  place  of 
children  in  the  convenant  family  and  community,  and  the  importance 
of  the  Sacraments  of  baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper  in  this  covenant 

128.  The  material  of  these  lectures  remains  in  thirty-eight  pages  of 
"condensed  notes"  which  were  never  expanded  and  revised  for  publication. 
Moreover,  Shelton  Smith,  peripatetic  and  expressive  lecturer  that  he  is,  had 
not  allowed  a  tape  recording.    The  outline  of  the  lectures  follows : 

"The   Christian   Faith  and   Its   Communication" 

1.  The  Paradox  of  American  Protestantism 

2.  A    Primority    for    Christian    Nurture :     An    Adequate    Doctrine    of    the 

Church   ("Primority"  was  Smith's  word  for  it.) 

3.  The  Household  of  God:    Its  Nature  and   Structure 

4.  The  Ministry  of  the  Divine  Household :  Kerygma  and  Didache 

5.  Renewing  the  Household  for  its  Kerygmatic  Mission 

6.  Sharing  the   Scriptures  within  the  Household  of  God 

7.  Children  of  the  Covenant 

8.  The  Sacrament  of  the  Lord's  Supper 

9.  The  Divine  Household  in  its   Social   Mission. 

129.  "The  Christian  Faith  and  Its  Communication,"  pp.  4f.  (of  the  type- 

130.  Ibid.,  pp.  6f. 


life  and  nurture.131  Even  this  brief  notice  of  his  "condensed  notes" 
of  the  lectures  shows  that  Shelton  Smith  still  had  much  to  say  to 
Christian  nurture. 

(4)  This  study  may  be  drawn  to  a  close  with  acknowledgment 
of  one  other  essay — his  chapter  on  "Christian  Education"  in  the 
volume  edited  by  Arnold  S.  Nash  on  Protestant  Thought  in  the 
Twentieth  Century:  Whence  and  Whither?  (1951).132  Since  each 
contributor  to  this  symposium  was  to  review  developments  in  his 
respective  field  during  the  first  half  of  the  century,  and  then  to  look 
at  trends  toward  the  future,  Smith  had  perforce  to  go  over  again  much 
of  the  ground  already  thoroughly  plowed  in  Faith  and  Nurture.  His 
approach  this  time  was  in  terms  of  a  leading  question,  "Do  progres- 
sive religious  educators  have  a  theology?"  In  answer,  he  took  note 
briefly  of  the  two  main  roots  of  progressive  religious  education  in  pro- 
gressive educational  theory  and  liberal  immanentalist  theology,  and  of 
their  fusion  in  the  thought  of  George  A.  Coe,  and  then  proceeded  to  a 
careful  analysis  of  the  explicit  and  implicit  theology  of  Coe  and  his 
resistance  to  "the  new  current  in  Protestant  thought."133  As  for 
current  and  future  developments,  Smith  saw  three  possible  courses  of 
action  for  progressive  nurture.  Progressives  might  "continue  to  re- 
affirm their  already  established  theological  convictions,"  as  did  Coe, 
Bower,  and  Elliott.  Or  they  might  "align  themselves  with  meta- 
physical naturalism  and  abandon  the  distinctive  Christian  tradition 
altogether,"  as  Ernest  J.  Chave  was  doing  in  A  Functional  Approach 
to  Religious  Education.™*  Or  they  could  "reconstruct  their  theologi- 
cal foundations  in  light  of  the  more  realistic  insights  of  current 
Christian  faith."  This,  of  course,  had  been  the  thrust  of  Shelton 
Smith's  own  development,  and  the  burden  of  his  professional  advo- 
cacy, since  1931 ;  and  now  he  could  see  much  hope  in  the  theological 
trends  of  The  Study  of  Christian  Education  completed  by  the  Inter- 
national Council  of  Religious  Education  in  1947.135  As  one  of  the 
committee  which  worked  out  the  section  of  that  Study  on  "Theologi- 
cal and  Educational  Foundations,"  he  expressed  unconcealed  satisfac- 
tion over  its  replacement  of  "the  older  optimistic  notion  of  human 
nature"  with  a  new  realism  about  man's  "dual  nature"  as  "child  of 

131.  Ibid.,  passim. 

132.  Published  by  The  Macmillan  Company.    See  pp.  225-246  for  his  essay. 

133.  Ibid.,  pp.  225-242. 

134.  Ibid.,  pp.  242f.  Chave's  book  was  published  by  The  University  of 
Chicago,  1947. 

135.  This  was  issued  in  eight  large  mimeographed  documents  by  the  Inter- 
national Council  of  Religious  Education,  1947,  and  rewritten  in  Paul  H.  Vieth, 
The  Church  and  Christian  Education   (Bethany  Press,   1947). 


God"  and  "fallen  creature" ;  and,  secondly,  its  accent  on  "the  nature 
and  special  content  of  the  Christian  revelation,  including  the  central- 
ity  of  Christ  and  his  Church."136  Clearly  the  desiderata  of  his 
addresses  and  book  and  articles  through  the  years  were  beginning  to 
appear  in  a  theological  renewal  of  faith  and  nurture! 

When  this  essay  of  Shelton  Smith's  was  taking  form  before  mid- 
century,  however,  such  salutary  changes  on  the  horizon  of  Christian 
education  were  yet  like  but  a  cloud  the  size  of  a  man's  hand.  Not 
one  significant  new  book  in  the  theological  reconception  of  Christian 
nurture  had  yet  appeared  to  take  up  the  constructive  task  bequeathed 
by  Faith  and  Nurture.  But  not  even  Shelton  Smith  could  then  foresee 
what  an  extraordinary  new  burst  of  theological  activity  in  Christian 
education  would  occur  in  the  next  few  years,  involving  the  major 
writers,  professors,  denominational  and  interdenominational  boards 
and  leaders,  and  many  of  the  denominational  curricula.  We  would 
not  claim  for  Shelton  Smith  undue  credit  for  such  an  awakening ;  it 
has  come  through  many  contributors,  and  out  of  the  major  theological 
movement  of  our  time,  and  ultimately,  as  he  would  insist,  from  more 
than  human  initiative.  (Nor,  on  the  other  hand,  would  we  presume 
his  imprimatur  for  all  of  these  developments ;  he  would  find  some  too 
superficial,  or  too  timid,  or  too  dogmatically  orthodox!)  But  there 
can  be  little  doubt  that  among  the  religious  educators  he  was  the 
major  prophet  of  the  theological  renovation  that  was  needed,  and  that 
has  begun  to  come  about,  in  the  teaching  ministry  of  the  Church. 
That  reformation  must  continue! 

136.  Smith,  "Christian  Education,"  in  Arnold  S.  Nash,  editor,  Protestant 
Thought  in  the  Twentieth  Century,  pp.  244f. 

Toward  the  Renewal  of 
Corporate  Worship 

Jackson  W.  Carroll,  '56 
Methodist  Chaplain,  Duke  University 

The  enigmatic  question  which  Dietrich  Bonhoeffer  posed  in  his 
Letters  and  Papers  from  Prison  continues  to  trouble  many  in  the 
Church  today  in  the  concern  for  the  renewal  of  worship.  "What  is 
the  place  of  worship  and  prayer  in  an  entire  absence  of  religion  ?"  he 
asked  (Letters  and  Papers  from  Prison,  Fontana,  p.  92).  If  God 
is  not  to  be  found  on  the  borders  of  life,  if  indeed  the  borders  are 
rapidly  being  broken  through  as  technology  advances,  then  what 
meaning  has  worship  for  us  in  this  kind  of  an  ethos  ?  The  Theological 
Commission  on  Worship,  in  making  its  report  to  the  Fourth  Con- 
ference on  Faith  and  Order  of  the  World  Council  of  Churches  in 
Montreal  in  1963,  reflected  a  similar  concern.  ".  .  .  there  is  no 
Christian  church  that  is  not  confronted  with  the  problem  of  how  to 
lead  into  worship  a  generation  which  to  a  great  extent  regards  the 
transcendent  realm,  and  the  life  of  prayer  springing  out  of  it,  as 
something  too  vague  and  unimportant  for  its  attention"  (Faith  and 
Order  Paper  No.  39,  p.  3). 

In  a  real  sense,  we  cannot  solve  these  problems.  We  cannot  force 
the  Holy  Spirit  to  renew  the  Church  or  its  worship.  Grace  is  not 
produced  through  gimmicks  nor  is  meaningful  worship  a  matter  of 
mechanics.  Yet  this  does  not  mean  that  we  resign  ourselves  com- 
pletely from  any  responsibility.  Though  we  cannot  be  presumptuous 
about  the  Holy  Spirit's  working,  he  may  be  leading  us  in  new  direc- 
tions in  worship  to  which  we  should  be  sensitive. 

Before  turning  to  some  of  these  possible  new  directions,  let  me 
suggest  a  definition  of  Christian  worship.  Christian  worship  is  the 
celebration  by  the  Church  in  the  midst  of  the  world  of  the  living 
God,  of  what  He  has  done,  is  doing,  and  will  do  to  redeem  the  world. 
It  is  the  rehearsal  of  the  drama  of  salvation  through  which  God 
continually  confronts  us  with  His  purpose  for  man  individually  and 
collectively  and  calls  the  Church  to  participate  in  it.  If  Christian 
worship  is  to  be  understood  in  this  sense,  then  at  least  two  impli- 
cations follow. 

One  implication  has  to  do  with  the  norm  of  Christian  worship.    If 


it  is  Christian  worship  that  we  are  about,  then  it  is  the  shape  or 
character  of  God's  action  which  determines  and  shapes  how  we 
worship  rather  than  our  own  subjective  feelings.  This  does  not  mean 
a  rigid  orthodoxy  of  forms  of  worship  to  be  imposed  on  all  con- 
gregations. Rather  it  implies  considerable  freedom  as  to  the  forms 
of  worship.  What  is  central  and  determinative  is  God's  action  in 
Jesus  Christ.  All  else,  including  the  specific  forms  of  our  worship, 
is  determined  by  this  central  datum.  Frederick  Herzog,  in  an  essay 
in  Worship  in  Scripture  and  Tradition,  edited  by  Massey  H.  Shep- 
herd, reminds  us  that  "The  forms  of  the  Christian  cultus  are  not 
perfect  and  ideal  means  of  communicating  the  Christian  truth.  They 
are  tentative  arrangements  of  a  people  that  is  trying  more  and  more 
fully  to  grasp  the  basic  datum  of  its  ultimate  commitment"  (p.  100). 

To  consider  fully  what  this  "shape  of  God's  action  in  Jesus  Christ" 
means  as  it  shapes  Christian  worship  is  beyond  the  limits  of  this 
present  discussion.  One  might  note  the  essay  by  Herzog  referred  to 
above.  It  might,  however,  be  said  briefly  that  it  is  the  history  of 
Jesus  Christ,  his  life,  death,  and  resurrection,  which  is  decisive.  He 
is  the  New  Man,  the  Second  Adam,  the  "first-born  among  many 
brethren."  To  encounter  him  in  corporate  worship  is  to  re-enact 
or  re-live  his  history  so  that  our  histories  are  shaped  by  his.  This 
encounter  involves  a  reminder  of  the  God  whom  we  worship ;  it 
involves  confession  and  forgiveness ;  it  involves  praise  and  witness 
to  God's  Word ;  and  it  involves  a  response  in  dedication  and  offering. 
To  put  it  another  way,  the  encounter  involves  acknowledgment  of 
guilt,  redemption,  and  new  life  in  the  community  of  Christ.  How- 
ever the  various  forms  of  Christian  worship  may  differ  in  language, 
symbols,  action,  and  structure,  they  will  have  this  common  core,  this 
norm,  as  their  basis. 

The  second  implication  of  this  definition  of  worship  has  to  do 
with  the  relation  of  worship  to  the  mission  of  the  Church.  Worship 
is  the  celebration  in  the  midst  of  the  world  of  God's  activity.  It  is 
not  the  pious  withdrawal  from  the  world  to  some  religious  realm 
where  we  meet  God.  This  is  what  Bonhoeffer  was  strongly  reacting 
against.  If  God  is  to  be  worshipped,  then  He  must  be  worshipped 
where  He  is  at  work,  in  the  midst  of  the  world  rather  than  on  the 
borders.  This  is  not  to  suggest  that  the  Christian  community,  gath- 
ered to  worship,  is  not  aware  of  a  dimension  of  life  that  the  world 
knows  not  of,  "the  peace  of  God,  which  passes  all  understanding." 
Te  celebrate  God's  action  as  Creator,  Sustainer,  Judge  and  Redeemer, 
is  to  trust  deeply  that  past,  present  and  future  belong  to  Him.   Never- 


theless,  it  is  in  the  world  and  not  apart  from  it  that  God  makes 
himself  known  in  His  action. 

Furthermore,  as  the  Church  gathers  to  worship,  she  sets  up  a 
sign  in  the  midst  of  the  world  of  God's  purpose  for  the  world.  This 
is  to  say  that  the  Church's  worship  is  eschatalogical,  manifesting  the 
new  creation  in  the  midst  of  the  old.  (See  especially  a  helpful  essay 
by  Alexander  Schmemann,  "Theology  and  Liturgical  Tradition,"  in 
Worship  in  Scripture  and  Tradition,  Massey  H.  Shepherd,  ed.). 
Worship  and  mission  are  not,  therefore,  separate  "activities"  of  the 
Church.  To  gather  to  worship  as  a  Christian  congregation  is  to  be 
in  mission. 

With  this  understanding  underlying  worship,  what  are  some  of 
the  possibilities  for  the  renewal  of  our  corporate  worship? 

The  first  step  towards  the  renewal  of  worship  which  I  would 
suggest  has  to  do  with  the  recovery  of  a  more  adequate  sense  of  the 
fulness  of  Christian  worship.  Christian  worship  in  this  country,  with 
some  notable  exceptions,  has  usually  suffered  from  a  one-sided 
emphasis  on  either  Word  or  Sacrament.  Low-church  Protestantism 
has,  by  and  large,  relegated  the  Sacraments,  especially  the  Lord's 
Supper,  to  a  place  of  secondary  importance  to  preaching.  Even  then, 
some  of  that  which  we  have  called  preaching  hardly  resembles  what 
the  New  Testament  understands  as  proclamation.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  churches  which  have  stressed  the  Sacraments  have  done  so 
in  many  instances  in  such  a  way  that  preaching  has  been  denigrated. 
My  plea,  then,  is  for  a  recovery  of  the  fulness  of  worship  which  ele- 
vates neither  Word  nor  Sacrament  over  the  other,  but  which  gives 
both  their  rightful  place.  This  is  no  more  than  the  basic  Reformation 
insistence  that  the  "Church  of  Christ  is  a  congregation  of  faithful 
men  in  which  the  pure  Word  of  God  is  preached,  and  the  Sacraments 
duly  administered  according  to  Christ's  ordinance"  (Articles  of 
Religion,  No.  XIII). 

Why  are  both  needed?  It  is  because  a  congregation  in  which  the 
interpreted  Word  is  subordinate  to  the  Sacrament  is  in  danger  of 
forgetting  where  the  Lord's  Supper  begins.  It  is  in  danger  of  simply 
repeating  old  traditions  to  the  point  of  missing  the  good  news  which 
the  Sacrament  celebrates.  Though  the  situation  in  present  day 
churches  which  lay  heavy  emphasis  on  the  Sacrament  is  far  different 
from  that  of  the  Middle  Ages,  it  is  nevertheless  instructive  to  recall 
that  the  expression  "hocus  pocus"  grew  out  of  a  situation  in  which 
the  hoc  est  meum  corpus,  intoned  at  the  altar,  was  so  poorly  under- 
stood by  the  congregation  that  it  did  in  fact  seem  to  be  "hocus  pocus." 

On  the  other  hand,  for  those  of  us  raised  in  "low-church"  Protes- 


tantism,  there  needs  to  be  an  equal  recovery  of  frequent,  if  not 
weekly,  celebration  of  the  Sacrament  of  the  Lord's  Supper.  This  is 
not  simply  because  our  Lord  commanded  this,  but  because  in  this 
celebration,  in  these  visible  elements  which  we  take  and  eat,  the  deed 
of  God  in  Jesus  Christ  becomes  present  to  us  in  a  vital  way,  which 
unfortunately  is  not  always  true  of  our  preaching.  To  receive  the 
bread  and  wine  is  to  receive  visible  symbols  of  the  living  presence 
of  the  One  who  died  and  rose  again,  in  whose  life  we  participate 
in  joy  and  thankfulness.  Furthermore,  these  "earthy"  elements  of 
bread  and  wine  remind  us  that  it  is  not  apart  from  the  world  that  we 
are  called  but  rather  in  the  world,  even  as  God  was  incarnate  in 
Jesus  of  Nazareth. 

It  is  too  much  to  ask  of  present-day  Methodism,  for  example,  to 
recover  the  weekly  celebration  of  the  Sacrament,  in  the  context  of 
an  equal  emphasis  on  preaching?  As  John  Deschner  has  rightly 
said,  "There  is  no  single  step  which  could  do  more  to  drive  trivia 
from  Sunday  worship  than  to  center  it  again — as  the  church  in  all 
ages  has  centered  it — in  the  interpreted  sacrament"  (motive,  No- 
vember 1961,  p.  7). 

A  second  need,  if  worship  is  to  be  renewed,  is  for  increased  con- 
gregational understanding  of  worship  and  participation  in  its  plan- 
ning. I  do  not  believe  it  unfair  to  say  that  most  congregations  today 
simply  do  not  have  the  faintest  notion  of  the  theology  of  worship. 
They  participate,  following  the  leading  of  the  minister  or  the  prayer 
book,  but  have  little  idea  of  why  they  do  what  they  do  or  even  of 
what  they  are  doing.  Furthermore,  they  do  not  have  much  of  a 
voice  in  planning  the  worship,  and,  even  if  they  did,  they  would  not 
know  where  to  begin. 

This  implies  such  practical  steps  as  seminars  on  the  theology  and 
practice  of  worship  led  by  the  clergy  for  the  congregation.  Occasional 
explanatory  services  of  worship,  in  which  the  pastor  interprets  the 
service  as  it  progresses,  are  also  helpful.  The  use  of  printed  orders 
of  service  with  a  parallel  column  interpreting  the  movement  of  the 
service  is  another  means  of  aiding  the  understanding  of  the  congre- 
gation. As  for  unfamiliar  hymns  and  choral  responses,  there  might  be 
congregational  rehearsals  at  the  beginning  of  the  service. 

Yet,  why  should  the  congregation  not  also  share  in  the  planning 
of  certain  parts  of  the  service?  A  number  of  instances  could  be  cited 
where  members  of  the  congregation  meet  weekly  with  the  clergy  to 
share  in  the  preparation  of  the  sermon  and  the  prayers  of  inter- 
cession which  are  to  be  offered.  What  a  difference  such  "shared 
preaching"   and   "shared   praying"   by   the   "whole   people   of   God" 


would  make  in  many  of  our  present  day  services !  I  dare  say  that 
our  preaching  might  once  more  become  "a  true  and  lively  Word!" 

A  third  suggestion  has  to  do  with  the  recovery,  not  only  of  the 
fulness  of  worship,  but  also  of  the  wholeness  of  the  Christian  heri- 
tage. In  this  day  of  awakened  ecumenicity,  would  not  one  means  of 
making  it  come  alive  on  the  "grass  roots"  level  be  to  make  use  of 
liturgies  and  services  from  the  whole  range  of  the  Christian  tradi- 
tion? What  is  being  suggested  is  the  occasional  use,  with  adequate 
explanation  (perhaps  by  a  representative  of  the  other  tradition), 
of  liturgies  from  other  traditions.  Such  using  of  services  should  be 
done  with  the  assistance  and  approval  of  representatives  of  the  other 
traditions.  Nevertheless,  to  do  so  is  to  remind  oneself  and  one's 
congregation  that  our  particular  tradition  does  not  have  the  whole 
of  the  truth,  and  that  there  are  significant  emphases  in  divergent 
traditions  which  need  to  be  recovered  and  appreciated  by  others. 

Finally,  we,  in  this  country,  have  a  lesson  to  be  learned  from  the 
so-called  Younger  Churches  of  Africa  and  Asia.  Like  them,  we  need 
to  exercise  the  freedom  which  is  ours  in  Christ  to  seek  and  use  new 
forms  which  may  help  to  make  worship  more  indigenous  to  our  age. 
Christians  in  India,  considering  this  question  of  making  worship  in- 
digenous, have  said: 

Indigenization  is  a  principle  inherent  in  the  Christian 
doctrines  of  Creation  and  Redemption,  and  the  Incarnation 
of  the  Word  of  God.  The  cultural  elements,  music,  dance 
and  other  forms  of  art  in  any  country,  reflect  the  glory  of 
God's  creation.  Because  of  man's  fallen  condition  these  may 
not  in  their  present  form  and  usage  glorify  God.  For  use  in 
the  Christian  context  they  need  to  be  redeemed  or  trans- 
formed by  the  process  of  bringing  these  under  the  judgment 
of  Christ  (Quoted  in  Faith  and  Order  Paper  No.  39,  p.  37). 

Can  we  in  this  country  not  learn  from  this  ?  To  be  sure,  the  forms 
of  worship  which  have  come  to  us  through  the  various  traditions 
are  much  more  indigenous  to  those  of  us  in  the  West.  They  are  a 
part  of  our  Western  cultural  heritage,  what  some  would  call  our 
"unself-conscious  historical  consciousness."  As  a  part  of  our  heritage 
these  forms  have  much  more  meaning  for  us  than,  perhaps,  for  our 
Asian  brothers.  Nevertheless,  is  there  not  considerable  indication 
that  for  many  in  present-day  Western  culture  the  traditional  forms, 
particularly  their  language,  have  lost  their  power  to  communicate? 
Our  congregation  at  the  Methodist  Center  at  Duke  University  has 
used  on   several   occasions  the  Litany  from  the  Book   of  Common 


Prayer.  It  is  a  very  meaningful  and  strong  prayer;  yet,  smiles  can- 
not help  but  steal  across  our  faces  as  we  pray,  "Deliver  us  from 
privy  conspiracies."  Of  course  this  is  a  minor  and  somewhat  ludi- 
crous example ;  nevertheless,  it  is  an  indication  of  what  may  be  a 
larger  problem,  not  simply  of  language,  but  in  all  the  symbols :  art, 
music  and  action  as  well  as  language.  What  may  well  be  needed  in 
worship  is  something  similar  to  the  radical  recasting  of  the  cate- 
gories of  theology  which  Bishop  Robinson  attempts  in  Honest  to  God. 

Where  is  our  warrant  to  do  this?  Is  it  not  in  the  freedom  which 
is  ours  in  Christ?  As  was  indicated  above,  God  allows  us  consider- 
able freedom  in  the  forms  with  which  we  worship  Him.  The  forms 
are  not  sacrosanct.  What  is  decisive  and  normative  is  that  our 
worship  be  shaped  by  the  character  of  God's  action  in  Jesus  Christ. 

Several  examples  of  attempts  at  indigenization  may  be  cited.  Most 
recent  has  been  the  Roman  Catholic  decision  to  allow  the  Mass  to 
be  celebrated  in  the  vernacular.  A  beautiful  setting  of  the  Mass  in 
English  has  been  done  by  a  young  American  composer,  Dennis  Fitz- 
patrick  (available  in  a  33%  R.P.M.  monaural  recording,  "Demon- 
stration English  Mass,"  from  English  Liturgy,  3501  Hillside  Road, 
Evanston,  Illinois,  $4.98).  Other  contemporary  musical  settings  of 
the  Liturgy  include  such  examples  as  the  jass  setting  of  the  Sunday 
service  which  John  Wesley  prescribed  for  use  by  American  Meth- 
odists (Ecclesia  Record,  101),  and  Geoffrey  Beaumont's  "Twentieth 
Century  Folk  Mass"  (Fiesta  Record  Company,  Inc.,  FLP  25000), 
which  uses  everyday  popular  rhythms  and  melodies  as  a  setting  for 
the  service. 

Of  course,  there  are  dangers  of  dilettantism  or  or  gimmickery 
when  one  attempts  to  make  worship  indigenous.  Neither  of  these 
is  intended,  however.  What  is  intended  is  a  concern  to  take  seriously 
contemporary  culture,  in  obedience  to  the  One  who  "so  loved  the 
world  that  he  gave  his  only  Son.  .  .  ."  We  shall  not,  by  any  means, 
scrap  the  traditional  forms.  But  perhaps  the  use  of  indigenous 
cultural  expressions  can  help  our  congregations  to  take  seriously  once 
more  the  intimate  connection  between  worship  and  mission  which  so 
often  seems  to  be  lacking. 

Here,  then,  are  some  of  the  possibilities  open  to  us  for  the  re- 
newal of  corporate  worship.  We  cannot  force  the  Holy  Spirit  to 
renew  us,  nor  can  we  presume  to  know  too  much  about  how  he  is 
renewing  us.  Nevertheless  these  may  be  some  of  the  directions  in 
which  he  is  leading  us  to  acknowledge  the  God  who  meets  us,  not  on 
the  borders  of  life,  but  in  its  very  midst. 

Chapel  Meditations 

The  First  and  the  Last 

Revelation  1 :7-ll,  21  :l-6 

John  of  Patmos  scanned  the  clouds,  and  understandably  so. 
Jerusalem  lay  plundered, 
Rome  was  a-building, 

and  John  was  stranded  on  the  very  island  from  which  the  Caesars 

quarried  stone  for  their  eternal  city  on  the  Tiber. 

But  John  did  not  languish,  nor  did  he  wring  his  hands  over  what 

the  world  was  coming  to. 

In  his  past,  and  present,  was  an  event  which  would  not  allow  him 

to  take  the  measure  of  the  world  by  Rome's  impressive  blocks  of 


"Pie  laid  his  right  hand  upon  me,  saying,  'Fear  not,  I  am  the 
first  and  the  last,  the  living  one ;  I  died,  and  behold  I  am  alive 
forevermore,  and  I  have  the  keys  of  death  and  Hades.'  "  (Rev. 

John  was  as  sure  of  the  Omega  as  of  the  Alpha. 

The  Revelation  is  testimony  to  that  faith,  as  dauntless  as  it  is  difficult 

to  articulate,  the  faith  of  all  those  who  in  mourning  over  the  world 

have  waited  for  God's  comfort. 

For  John  it  was  the  clouds  and  a  new  Jerusalem. 

Paul  had  waited  till  the  trumpet  should  sound  and  the  Lord  descend. 

Hebrews  has  it  simply  "Jesus  Christ  the  same,  yesterday,  today  and 


But  however  it  is  put,  it  is  the  faith  we  share  with  John  of  Patmos, 

we  who  amid  the  very  beauty  of  the  autumn  countryside  remember 

that  we,  with  our  earthly  city,  are  passing  away. 

We  are  likely  listening  for  no  trumpet. 

The  sound  of  one  would  conjure  up  Civil  Defense,  not  Gabriel. 

Nor  do  we  turn  our  radar  on  the  clouds  in  anticipation  of  a  friend. 

But  we  understand  what  John  means. 

Let  us,  therefore,  celebrate  our  common  faith  in  God's  triumph. 

John  says  that  he  shares  three  things  with  us : 

"I  John  your  brother  .  .  .  share  with  you  in  Jesus  the  tribula- 
tion and  the  Kingdom  and  the  patient  endurance.  ..."  (1 :9) 
In  the  midst  of  tribulation — and  you  can  fill  in  what  that  means  for 
you — we  share  the  kingdom. 


We,  like  John,  have  seen  the  Kingdom  of  God,  and,  consequently, 

we  can  no  more  be  satisfied  with  the  world  than  we  can  despair 

over  it. 

By  the  second  coming  of  Jesus  Christ  we  mean  to  say  that  in  our 

past  and  present  is  a  reality  with  ultimate  implications. 

Because  we  have  heard  the  gospel,  we  listen  for  a  trumpet. 

The  angel  Gabriel  stands  on  top  of  the  Riverside  Church,  his  trumpet 
poised  and  his  face  lifted  to  the  skies  as  if  he  were  watching  a  jet 
take  off  from  Kennedy  International. 
He  is  a  parable  in  stone. 

He  stands  firmly  anchored  to  the  storied  past, 
surrounded  by  the  bustling  present, 

and  obviously  hopeful  for  the  future. 
His  trumpet  says  that  he  has  heard  something,  but  his  uplifted  face 
says  that  he  is  looking  for  something  out  of  sight. 
His  name  means  "man  of  God,"  herald  of  the  kingdom  which  is  here 
and  yet  to  come, 
at  hand, 

around  the  corner, 

the  city  that  is  new  yet  named  Jerusalem. 
For  eight  months  I  saw  Gabriel  every  morning  and  night. 
I  went  to  work  and  play  and  worship,  and  he  stood  there  all  the  while, 
his  trumpet  ready. 

The  foundations  of  the  church  on  which  he  perches  grab  the  bedrock 
of  Manhattan  as  if  intending  to  stand  there  by  the  Hudson  forever. 
And  all  the  while  Gabriel  has  his  head  in  the  clouds. 
The  stained  glass  around  his  feet  points  to  the  past, 

to  faraway  places  and  antique  times. 
Every  Sunday  Gabriel  hears  the  same  old  story, 
told  to  people  in  well-worn  pews, 

who  expect  to  go  to  work  on   Monday  and  come  back 

next  Sunday. 
They  would  be  surprised  to  hear  Gabriel  toot  his  horn. 
The  days  come  and  go,  and  Gabriel  looks  up  into  sun  and  wind, 
sleet  and  snow. 

He  sees  out  of  the  corner  of  his  eye  that  men  still  go  down  to  the 
sea  in  ships, 

that   the   traffic   becomes   a   little   more   hectic   every    Friday 

afternoon,   and  that  the  park  turns  russet  autumn  after 

Summer  and  winter,  seedtime  and  harvest,  day  and  night,  vary  no 
more  than  the  traffic  lights. 


But  Gabriel  keeps  his  horn  ready. 

And  so  it  must  be,  that  in  the  midst  of  our  city,  we  look  for  a  city. 

For  the  carillon  plays  and  the  people  sing  over  and  over : 

"Oh  God  our  help  in  ages  past, 

Our  hope  for  years  to  come.  .  .  ." 
Our  future  rests  firmly  on  our  past. 

Because  stained  glass  points  back  to  a  stable  and  a  cross  and  three 
travelers  on  Emmaus  road,  Gabriel  can  lift  his  trumpet. 
It  is  what  God  has  done  that  braces  us  for  the  living  of  these  days, 
though  we  can  do  no  better  in  charting  our  hope  for  the  future  than 
to  use  John's  clouds  and  trumpets. 

This  hope,  the  hope  of  God's  kingdom,  enables  us  to  live  in  the 
present  and  face  the  future  as  John  did,  in  patient  endurance,  in  that 
steadfastness  founded  in  remembering  and  expecting, 

in  that  grace  which  sustains  us  at  the  Lord's  table  where  we 

remember  Jesus  and  wait  in  expectation. 
The  table  is  at  once  our  confession  that  we  cannot  live  our  lives  in 
the  world  by  bread  alone  and  our  thanksgiving  that  God  nourishes 
his  people. 

And  so  we  are  able  to  endure,  doing  our  work  in  the  world,  because 
all  our  expectations  are  in  God. 

Disappointment  and  disillusion  are  built  into  merely  human  hopes. 
So  we  face  a  discouraging  world  as  did  John,  with  no  confidence  in 
the  world,  but  in  "the  Lord,  the  everlasting  God,  the  Creator  of  the 
ends  of  the  earth,  who  does  not  faint  or  grow  weary." 
It  is  they  who  wait  upon  the  Lord  who  shall  renew  their  strength. 
I  cannot  say  how  you  are  to  wait,  for  I  do  not  know  what  you  must 
It  is  likely,  however,  that  we  will  endure  by  doing  our  duty, 

that  we  will  take  the  world  seriously  without  taking  it  with 

utter  seriousness, 

that  we  will  live  out  this  year,  and  succeeding  years,  but  not 
merely  as  1964  that  year  which  is  1964  Anno  Domini. 
We  will  go  on  doing  our  push-ups  and  pushing  pencils  and  making 

We  will  go  to  the  dentist  twice  a  year  and  do  our  homework,  and 
save  for  our  children's  future. 

For  to  wait  on  the  Lord  as  if  the  world  were  of  no  account  is  to  miss 
the  kingdom  which  is  in  our  midst. 

To  neglect  human  things  is  to  deny  the  first  coming,  the  incarnation 
by  which  God  has  hallowed  earthy  things  and  made  our  life  all  of  a 


Not  only  do  we  wait  in  work,  but  in  rest,  for  to  know  that  the  world 
passes  away  does  not  make  us  frantic  to  stay  the  days  or  to  fear 
the  future. 

We  know  that  the  Word  of  our  God  stands,  and  so  we  pass  our 
days  in  quietness  and  peace  and  at  night  go  content  to  our  beds. 
We  endure  time  as  those  who  know  that  all  our  times  are  in  his 
hands,  past,  present,  and  future. 

But  while  we  wait  in  work  and  rest,  we  mourn  for  the  world. 
The  very  fact  that  Gabriel  is  there  is  a  symbol  of  our  holy  dissatis- 

Had  John  been  content  with  things  as  they  were,  how  would  he  have 
seen  a  new  city? 

And  why  should  Gabriel  raise  his  audacious  trumpet  in  the  midst  of 
a  city  where  all  is  well? 

But  all  is  not  well,  no  more  than  in  the  old  Jerusalem  over  which 
Jesus  mourned. 

And  we  are  never  so  much  in  his  company,  nor  so  near  to  the  pathos 
of  Gabriel's  searching  eye,  as  when  we  weep  over  the  daily  newspaper, 

over  the  life  of  the  world. 

"Blessed  are  they  that  mourn,  for  they  shall  be  comforted." 
But  our  weeping  is  not  that  of  sentimentality  or  of  despair,  for  that  is 
not  the  mourning  which  is  in  itself  blessedness. 
It  is  the  comforted  grief  of  those  who  have  seen  and  who  wait  to  see 
the  salvation  of  God. 
For  while  we  mourn  over  the  world,  we  know  the  meaning  of  the 


"Blessed  are  they  that  mourn.  .  .  ." 
We  endure  patiently  as   those  who  know  that  the  valleys   will  be 
exalted  and  the  hills  made  low,  even  as  in  Israel's  crooked  time  a 
voice  was  heard: 

"Comfort  ye,  comfort  ye,  my  people." 
Everyone  of  us  has  his  own  Patmos,  where  he  waits  with  John  and 
Paul  and  Simeon  and  Rauschenbusch  for  the  consolation  of  Israel. 
Only  you  know  your  Patmos,  and  you  will  have  to  make  John's 
vision  your  own,  but  the  vision  of  faith  makes  possible  our  patient 

Who  knows  this  better  than  Dilsey,  in  William  Faulkner's  The 
Sound  and  the  Fury. 

Dilsey  does  her  duty  in  the  world,  knowing  all  the  while  that  the 
world  is  coming  to  an  end,  the  world  where  so  much  is  wrong. 
Dilsey  is  the  old  Negro  servant,  the  mammy,  in  the  Compson  house- 


hold,  a  family  for  whom  life  is  all  sound  and  fury  signifying  nothing. 

Dilsey  is  the  only  person  in  the  family  who  will  accept  suffering,  who 

will  accept  life  as  it  is. 

The  book  closes  on  Easter  Sunday,  1928. 

Dilsey  begins  the  day  by  carrying  wood,  getting  breakfast,  and  trying 

to  maintain  peace  in  the  family. 

There   is  a  strange,   dogged  hopefulness  about  the   woman   as   she 

ducks  her  gray  head  and  heaves  herself  up  and  down  the  stairs  at 

Mrs.  Compson's  whim. 

But  Dilsey  gets  her  work  done  and  goes  off  to  church  with  her 

children  and  the  feeble-minded  Ben. 

The  path  is  uphill  and  leads  among  dilapidated  Negro  cabins. 

The  weatherbeaten  church  stands  against  a  gray  Easter  morning. 

Inside  are  decorations  of  crepe  paper  and  above  the  pulpit  an  old 

red  Christmas  bell,  the  kind  that  folds  up  like  an  accordion. 

The  people  sing,  and  then  a  preacher  in  a  shabby  alpaca  coat  gives 

a  sermon  on  suffering  and  Easter,  all  about  the  agony  of  the  cross, 

and  about  the  golden  horns  shouting  down  the  glory. 
Dilsey  weeps  quietly,  rises,  and  leaves  the  church. 
Approaching  the  big  Compson  house,  with  its  rotting  portico,  Dilsey's 
children  want  to  know  why  she  weeps. 

She  tells  them  never   to  mind  and  continues   to   weep  what   seem 
tears  of  comforted  sorrow. 

Back  in  the  kitchen,  about  her  usual  tasks,  from  which  there  is  no 
escape,  she  talks  to  herself  about  having  seen  the  first  and  the  last, 

the  beginning  and  the  end. 
And  Dilsey  endures. 

More  than  that,  she  lives  joyfully,  lovingly  in  the  world,  for  she 
knows  the  decisive  truth; 

Jesus  Christ  is  alpha  and  omega. 
So  Gabriel,  lift  your  trumpet. 

For  though  it  often  does  not  appear  to  be  so,  to  eyes  of  faith  it  is 
clear,  especially  when  we  wait  on  Patmos, 

or  endure  a  world  of  rotting  porticoes,  that 

"the  Kingdoms  of  this  world  are  become  the  Kingdom  of 
our  Lord  and  of  his  Christ,  and  he  shall  reign  forever 
and  ever."      Amen 

York  Chapel  Charles  L.  Rice 

October  24,  1965  Assistant  in   Preaching 

The  Dean's  Discourse 

At  this  moment  of  writing  we  look  forward  with  satisfaction 
to  a  forthcoming  Convocation  of  students,  faculty,  and  alumni  in 
dedication.  On  May  12  at  high  noon  we  rededicate  the  newly  reno- 
vated Divinity  School  Building  and  dedicate  to  the  lasting  honor  of 
the  late  Bishop  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  the  newly  constructed  entrance 
porch  of  the  Divinity  School.  We  anticipate  the  assembly  of  alumni 
and  friends  on  this  occasion  and  rejoice  that  our  Bishop  Paul  N. 
Garber  of  the  Raleigh  Area,  chief  biographer  of  Kilgo,  will  bring 
the  principal  address  and  participate  in  the  dedicatory  ceremonies. 
We  shall  be  honored  also  by  the  participation  of  President  Douglas 
M.  Knight  in  the  dedicatory  service. 

The  past  few  months  have  seen  the  final  departure  of  several 
colleagues  and  dear  friends  of  the  Divinity  School  family. 

On  February  18,  RUTH  MERTZ  PETRY,  beloved  wife  of  our 
colleague,  Professor  Ray  C.  Petry,  was  suddenly  stricken  and  passed 
from  this  mortal  scene  in  but  a  few  hours.  Ruth  Petry  was  a  de- 
voted neighbor  and  friend  of  students  and  faculty  families  for  nearly 
thirty  years.  The  profound  bereavement  of  her  husband  is  shared 
by  all  of  us  who  knew  her. 

She  was  born  March  17,  1898,  near  Burnettsville,  Indiana.  She 
received  the  A.B.  degree  from  Indiana  University  and  the  A.M. 
degree  in  English  literature  and  drama  from  the  University  of  Colo- 
rado. She  did  special  studies  in  Latin  at  the  University  of  Wis- 
consin and  taught  English  and  Latin  in  the  Indiana  high  schools 
prior  to  her  marriage,  May  29,  1930.  Cultured  in  the  liberal  arts, 
she  was  a  helpmeet  extraordinary  to  her  husband  in  his  humane 
learning  and  writing.  From  her  funeral  sermon  I  excerpt  a  few  words 
which  it  was  my  honor  to  compose  and  present  in  Trinity  Methodist 
Church,  February  21,  1965: 

"Gifted  of  mind  and  well  educated,  Ruth  was  equally  unimpressed 
by  the  pretense  of  the  academy  and  the  unction  of  uncritical  religion. 
At  the  same  time,  she  was  undeterred  by  the  naive  simplicities  of 
untutored  faith.  Somehow,  for  her,  these  were  no  real  disqualifica- 
tions. She  knew,  with  the  down-to-earth  sense  that  sometimes 
comes  with  country  rearing,  that  wisdom  is  justified  only  by  her 
children.  .  .  . 


"No  faculty  wife  consulted  the  treasures  of  the  Rare  Book  Room, 
including  the  Latin  texts,  more  than  Ruth ;  but  none,  either,  was 
more  alert  to  capture  and  keep  shafts  of  golden  insight  from  the 
neighbor's  maid  or  the  child  next  door.  I  have  not  known  one  who 
could  hear,  see,  and  treasure  more  largely  the  words  and  signs  of 
little  children  in  the  rough  and  tumble  of  play  or  in  casual  conversa- 
tion of  the  side  yard. 

"Children  and  childlike  innocence  she  took  seriously,  believing 
on  good  authority,  that  'except  ye  become  as  a  little  child  ye  cannot 
enter  the  kingdom  of  God.'  No  one  knew  better  than  Ruth  that 
'out  of  the  mouths  of  babes  and  sucklings  Thou  has  ordained  praise !' 
For  adults  Ruth  reserved  her  gentle  whimsy  and  sometimes  her 
irony — as  suited  to  their  condition — and  as  the  grace  of  her  for- 
bearance and  the  manner,  also,  of  her  Christian  charity.  Delight- 
fully demure,  at  times  she  could  suddenly  settle  presumption,  such 
as  mine,  with  a  deft  'aside.'  Modest  about  herself,  she,  at  the  same 
time,  over-estimated  no  one.  You  could  as  easily  sweep  her  off  her 
feet  with  a  gale  of  many  words  as  alter  the  colors  of  her  prized  roses 
with  well  deserved  compliments.  Yet,  gentle  toward  all,  she  was  a 
beloved  neighbor,  not  because  she  raised  a  finger  to  cultivate  anyone, 
but  because  she  cared.  And  therewith,  also,  was  her  integrity.  She 
was  obedient  to  the  heavenly  vision." 

Edified  by  her  life  we  shall  be  strengthened  by  her  memory. 

DR.  RUSSELL  L.  DICKS— Alumni  and  faculty  of  the  Divinity 
School  were  saddened  by  the  news  of  the  sudden  death  by  heart 
attack  of  Dr.  Dicks,  March  8,  1965,  at  his  home  in  Orlando,  Florida. 

Dr.  Dicks  joined  the  faculty  of  the  Divinity  School  in  1948  during 
the  deanship  of  Dr.  Harold  Bosley  and  continued  his  services  until 
1959,  when  he  resigned  to  undertake  private  counseling  practice 
which  led  to  his  settlement  with  his  family  in  Orlando,  Florida, 
where  he  became  Director  of  the  Central  Florida  Counseling  Service. 

Dr.  Dicks  joined  the  faculty  of  the  Divinity  School  as  Associate 
Professor  of  Pastoral  Care  and  eventually  established  a  chaplaincy 
program  in  the  Duke  Hospital,  beginning  what  has  become  an  inte- 
gral part  of  the  program  of  the  Medical  Center. 

Dr.  Dicks  received  the  A.B.  degree  from  the  University  of  Okla- 
homa in  1930  and  his  B.D.  degree  from  Union  Theological  Seminary, 
New  York,  in  1933.  He  was  for  five  years  thereafter  on  the  staff 
of  the  Massachusetts  General  Hospital,  where  the  basis  for  his  ca- 
reer in  pastoral  care  was  laid.    It  was  here  that  he  labored  as  a 


colleague  of  the  famous  physician,  Richard  C.  Cabot,  and  together 
with  Cabot  published  his  influential  and  pioneering  volume  on  The 
Art  of  Ministering  to  the  Sick  (New  York,  1936).  Thereafter  many 
writings  came  from  his  pen  which  contributed  to  the  development 
of  the  present-day  discipline  of  pastoral  care  in  the  curricula  of 
contemporary  theological  schools. 

Dr.  Dicks  was  the  first  teacher  of  clinical  pastoral  training  in  a 
general  hospital,  along  with  A.  Philip  Guiles.  He  was  the  first  to 
analyze  pastoral  case  material  for  The  Pastor.  For  many  years  he 
edited  the  privately  published  magazine  entitled  Religion  and  Health 
and  was  the  general  editor  of  the  Pastoral  Aid  Series  of  the  West- 
minster Press.  Before  coming  to  Duke  and  after  his  departure  from 
Boston,  he  served  as  chaplain  in  the  Presbyterian  Hospital,  Chicago, 
and  was  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  Southern  Methodist  University 
and  Associate  Pastor  of  Highland  Park  Methodist  Church  in  Dallas, 
Texas.  During  the  period  of  his  service  to  the  Divinity  School  he 
was  a  nationally  recognized  lecturer  in  his  field  and  at  the  same  time 
laid  the  foundation  of  the  Pastoral  Care  program  which  has  subse- 
quently prospered  and  developed  involving  not  only  Duke  Medical 
Center  but  adjacent  service  institutions. 

The  alumni,  as  well  as  the  faculty,  of  the  Divinity  School  desire 
to  extend  their  deepest  word  of  sympathy  to  Mrs.  Dorothy  Dicks 
and  the  children,  Joan,  William,  and  James.  Mrs.  Dicks'  address  is 
2524  Delwood  Drive,  Orlando,  Florida. 

DR.  KELSEY  REGEN— Dr.  Regen  died  April  15,  1965,  in 
Richmond,  Virginia,  after  a  lingering  illness.  He  was  pastor  of  the 
First  Presbyterian  Church,  which  pastorate  he  had  assumed  in  1960 
after  a  notable  service  to  church  and  community  as  pastor  of  the 
First  Presbyterian  Church,  Durham,  North  Carolina.  From  1952 
until  1960  Dr.  Regen  served  as  a  part-time  lecturer  in  Pastoral 
Theology,  contributing  the  wealth  of  his  experience,  wisdom,  and 
grace  to  the  students  of  the  Divinity  School  who  elected  his  courses. 
His  churchmanship  was  of  the  highest  order,  and  he  endeared  him- 
self alike  to  students  and  faculty  in  the  course  of  his  enriching  service. 

Dr.  Regen  had  come  to  the  ministry  of  the  First  Presbyterian 
Church,  Durham,  in  1940  and  served  in  such  a  way  that  the  Durham 
Morning  Herald  editorial  writer  properly  observed  that  his  "ministry 
extended  beyond  the  bounds  of  his  congregation.  In  quite  a  real 
sense,  all  Durham  was  his  parish."  He  was  moderator  of  the  Synod 
of  North  Carolina  in  1958-59  and  president  of  the  North  Carolina 


Council  of  Churches,  1952-54.  In  1959  he  received  the  Council's 
Distinguished  Service  Award.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of 
Trustees  of  Davidson  College,  from  which  he  had  received  his  A.B. 
degree  in  1926.  He  was  a  graduate  of  Louisville  Presbyterian  The- 
ological Seminary,  receiving  the  B.D.  degree  in  1929.  A  member 
of  Phi  Beta  Kappa  from  Davidson,  he  was  awarded  the  honorary 
Doctor  of  Laws  degree  from  Tusculum  College.  He  was  minister 
of  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  of  Middletown,  New  York,  and 
he  came  to  Durham  from  the  Madison  Avenue  Presbyterian  Church 
in  Covington,  Kentucky. 

When  the  fateful  eventuality  became  plain  to  him  in  February, 
and  it  was  suggested,  "We  can  still  hope  for  a  miracle,"  he  replied, 
"Perhaps  we  may,  but  the  miracle  we  can  look  for  is  the  attitude 
which  we  take  toward  what  lies  before  us." 

His  wife,  Mrs.  Jocelyn  Watson  Regen,  resides  at  100  Windsor 
Way,  Richmond,  Virginia.    He  is  survived  by  his  son,  Jon  Watson 
Regen,  and  a  daughter,  Margot  Ann  Regen. 

These  all  died  in  faith,  having  received  the  promises. 

I  am  pleased  to  announce  the  strengthening  of  our  faculty  by  the 
appointment  of  the  following  persons : 

DANIEL  M.  SCHORES,  JR.,  will  assume  his  duties  June  1, 
1965,  as  Associate  Director  of  Field  Education  and  Assistant  Pro- 
fessor of  Church  and  Community.  Mr.  Schores  comes  to  us  from 
Missouri,  where  he  has  been,  since  1959,  the  very  able  Director  of 
Church  and  Community  of  the  Missouri  Area. 

Mr.  Schores  is  a  graduate  of  Central  Methodist  College,  re- 
ceiving the  A.B.  degree  in  1950.  He  received  the  B.D.  degree  from 
Duke  Divinity  School  in  1953,  and  the  Ph.D.  degree  in  Sociology  of 
Religion  from  the  University  of  Missouri  is  expected  to  be  awarded 
at  the  forthcoming  1965  commencement. 

Mr.  Schores  is  married  to  Marie  Sessler  Schores.  They  are  the 
parents  of  five  children. 

Mr.  Schores  has  the  distinction  of  being  awarded  the  honorary 
title  of  Rural  Minister  of  the  Year  by  Emory  University  for  1964. 
He  is  a  member  of  the  Rural  Sociology  Society,  the  Society  for  the 
Scientific  Study  of  Religion,  and  the  Religious  Research  Associa- 
tion. He  is  a  member  of  the  Missouri  East  Conference  of  The 
Methodist  Church. 


DWIGHT  MOODY  SMITH,  JR.,  will  join  the  faculty  of  the 
Divinity  School  as  Associate  Professor  of  New  Testament,  Septem- 
ber 1,  1965,  and  will  bring  to  this  field  of  study  urgently  needed  sup- 
porting instruction  which  became  needful  as  Dr.  Kenneth  W.  Clark 
assumed  full-time  responsibility  for  the  International  Greek  New 
Testament  Project.  Dr.  Smith  comes  to  us  from  five  years  of  teach- 
ing on  the  faculty  of  the  Methodist  Theological  School  in  Ohio. 

Dr.  Smith  is  a  graduate  of  Davidson  College,  receiving  the 
A.B.  degree  with  Phi  Beta  Kappa.  He  received  the  B.D.  degree 
from  Duke  Divinity  School  in  1957,  the  M.A.  from  Yale  University 
in  1958,  and  the  Ph.D.  degree  from  the  same  institution  in  1961. 
His  fellowships  included  Boies  University  Fellowship,  1957-58; 
Dempster  Fellowship,  1958-59 ;  Kent  Fellowship,  1958- ;  and  the  Fels 
Fellowship  for  1959-60.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Society  of  Biblical 
Literature  and  Exegesis  and  the  Society  for  Religion  in  Higher  Edu- 

His  graduate  work  at  Yale,  as  well  as  at  Duke  Divinity  School, 
has  been  uncommonly  distinguished.  His  doctoral  dissertation  has 
recently  been  published  by  the  Yale  University  Press  under  the 
title  The  Composition  and  Order  of  the  Fourth  Gospel.  It  is  a  search- 
ing and  monumental  study  of  Rudolf  Bultmann's  methodology  of 
New  Testament  analysis.    (See  review  on  pp.  157-159.) 

Dr.  Smith  and  his  wife  Jane  are  the  parents  of  two  children. 

DR.  ROBERT  E.  SMITH,  M.D.,  and  since  1960  Assistant  Pro- 
fessor of  Pastoral  Care  and  Psychiatric  Counsel,  will  terminate  his 
services  to  the  Divinity  School  and  to  the  Department  of  Psychiatry 
to  assume  new  duties  as  Professor  of  Pastoral  Care  and  Psychiatrics 
in  service  to  four  Anglican  theological  colleges  of  Oxford,  England. 

Dr.  Smith  has  been  a  part-time  instructor  in  the  program  of 
Pastoral  Care  in  colleagueship  with  the  director,  Professor  Richard 
A.  Goodling.  Under  their  cooperative  effort  the  program  has  ac- 
quired gratifying  stature,  and  to  this  development  Dr.  Smith  has 
made  a  truly  significant  contribution.  With  this  expression  of  gen- 
uine appreciation,  I  add  the  word  of  some  pride  that  we  are  able  to 
participate  through  Dr.  Smith  in  a  first  contribution  of  its  kind  to 
Anglican  theological  education  at  Oxford. 

Robert  E.  Cushman 


HARRY  B.  PARTIN,  Lecturer  in  History  of  Religions: 

A  politician  and  twice  governor  of  my  home  state  (Kentucky) 
used  to  boast  that  he  was  born  between  two  rows  of  tobacco.  I  came 
rather  close  to  that,  for  I  was  born  and  reared  on  a  tobacco  farm 
near  Lexington.  I  find  the  scent  of  tobacco  which  occasionally  drifts 
across  the  Duke  campus  neither  strange  nor  unpleasant. 

I  came  from  a  family  which  had  long  ago  entered  the  "dark  and 
bloody  ground"  through  the  Cumberland  Gap  from  Virginia  (and 
North  Carolina).  Recent  generations  of  the  family  were  largely 
Methodist,  but  as  a  boy  I  rebelled  against  the  highly  pietistic  form 
of  Methodism  represented  in  the  local  church  and  became  a  member 
of  the  Disciples  of  Christ.  It  was  only  later  that  I  learned  of  the 
richness  and  variety  of  Methodism. 

My  early  vocational  plan  was  to  enter  the  legal  profession,  fol- 
lowing the  pattern  of  a  jurist  uncle.  However,  when  I  was  sixteen, 
my  pastor  startled  me  by  asking  if  I  had  considered  the  Christian 
ministry  as  a  vocation.  I  replied  that  I  had  never  given  it  a  thought. 
But  once  the  thought  had  been  put  into  my  mind  it  would  not  leave. 
Two  years  later  I  entered  Transylvania  College.  The  ex-governor 
referred  to  above  had  earlier  arrived  at  Transylvania  College  with, 
as  he  was  wont  to  put  it,  "a  smile,  a  red  sweater,  and  a  five-dollar 
bill."  My  "assets"  on  arrival  included  the  determination  to  study 
for  the  ministry. 

For  my  B.D.  studies  I  sought  a  seminary  which  would  be  highly 
demanding  intellectually,  and  soon  was  at  the  Disciples  Divinity 
House  of  the  University  of  Chicago.  After  receiving  the  degree  I 
was  called  to  a  Southern  California  church  as  associate  minister. 
Two  years  later  I  was  invited  by  the  late  Professor  Joachim  Wach  to 
return  to  Chicago  for  graduate  work  in  History  of  Religions.  I  had 
the  privilege  of  studying  under  Joachim  Wach  until  his  untimely 
death.  In  Joachim  Wach  I  encountered  for  the  first  time  a  great 
man.  Several  years  ago  when  I  stood  before  his  grave  in  a  small 
cemetery  cut  into  a  mountain  at  Orselina  overlooking  Locarno,  I 
understood  why  the  graves  of  the  great  have  been  places  of  pil- 

Professor  Wach's  death  was  unsettling  academically  as  well  as 


personally.  Just  as  I  had  decided  to  "take  a  break"  in  my  doctoral 
studies,  an  invitation  came  from  the  World  Council  of  Churches  to 
join  the  staff  of  the  Division  of  Studies  as  secretary  for  a  newly- 
authorized  study  of  "The  Word  of  God  and  the  Living  Faiths  of 
Men"  sponsored  jointly  by  the  World  Council  and  the  International 
Missionary  Council.  A  two-year  appointment  lengthened  into  five, 
with  the  first  two  years  spent  with  the  I.M.C.  in  London  and  the 
last  three  in  Geneva  (when  not  "on  the  road"  in  the  Middle  East 
and  Asia).  I  saw  for  myself  that  the  encounter  in  depth  between 
Christian  faith  and  other  religious  faiths  is  just  beginning  despite  a 
century  and  a  half  of  missionary  activity.  On  the  Christian  side  the 
encounter  is  inhibited  by  the  ghetto  mentality  (of  which  Dr.  Russell 
Chandran  of  India  spoke  recently  to  a  Divinity  School  audience) 
and  exclusivist  theological  formulations  of  Christians,  as  well  as  by 
the  tendency  to  settle  for  a  superficial  understanding  of  other  reli- 
gions. Joachim  Wach  used  to  say  that  before  one  compares  he  should 
know  and  understand  the  phenomena  he  wants  to  compare. 

I  cannot  think  of  an  experience  which  could  have  better  served 
to  send  one  back  into  graduate  study  in  History  of  Religions. 
Happily,  Joachim  Wach  had  a  worthy  successor  at  Chicago  in  the 
person  of  Mircea  Eliade.  I  returned  to  Chicago  in  1962  to  continue 
my  doctoral  program  in  History  of  Religions  (with  some  specializa- 
tion in  Islamics).  Then  came  exciting  and  demanding  years:  study 
under  Eliade;  editorial  work  for  a  new  international  journal,  History 
of  Religions;  and  a  phenomenological  study  of  religious  pilgrimage. 

The  opportunity  to  join  the  faculty  of  Duke  University  last  fall 
was  accepted  without  hesitation  for  a  number  of  reasons.  For  one 
thing,  I  desired  to  return  to  the  South  after  too  long  an  absence  and 
to  rear  my  family  (now  consisting  of  one  wife  and  three  children) 
in  this  region.  For  another,  I  wanted  to  become  part  of  a  university 
with  increasingly  high  standards  of  excellence.  Fully  as  important, 
however,  was  the  presence  here  of  Professor  Herbert  P.  Sullivan,  a 
long-time  friend  and  fellow  graduate  student,  who  had  already  done 
much  to  convey  a  fresh  understanding  of  the  History  of  Religions. 
The  discipline  of  the  History  of  Religions,  I  am  convinced,  is  not  to 
be  defined  fundamentally  by  its  subject-matter  (usually  taken  to 
be  "non-Christian  religions")  but  by  the  perspective  and  methods 
which  it  employs  for  the  study  of  any  religious  phenomena.  In  short, 
it  is  a  hermeneutic. 



The  Empirical  Theology  of  Henry 
Nelson  Wieman.  Edited  by  Robert 
W.  B retail.  Macmillan.  1963.  423 
pp.  $8.50. 

In  the  1920's  "empirical  theology" 
(broadly  speaking)  was  the  most  ex- 
citing version  of  American  religious 
thought.  A  foremost  figure  in  the 
left-wing  of  this  current  was  Henry 
Nelson  Wieman  (1884—).  His  first 
book,  Religious  Experience  and  Scien- 
tific Method  (1926),  wafted  him  into 
the  University  of  Chicago,  where  for 
some  twenty  years  he  was  the  center 
of  theological  discussion.  His  first 
volume  was  speedily  followed  by 
others,  such  as  The  Wrestle  of  Re- 
ligion with  Truth  (1927),  Methods  of 
Private  Religious  Living  (1929),  and 
Is  There  A  God?  (1932).  He  elab- 
orated his  definitive  system  in  an 
arresting  book,  entitled  The  Source  of 
Human   Good    (1946). 

When  Wieman  went  to  the  Uni- 
versity of  Chicago,  its  Divinity  School 
was  the  foremost  exponent  of  an 
anthropocentric  type  of  religious  hu- 
manism, but  under  his  vigorous  criti- 
cism that  brand  of  belief  was  thrown 
on  the  defensive.  As  an  alternative  to 
it,  he  advocated  what  he  called  "theo- 
centric  religion."  But  although  he 
was  a  theocentrist,  he  rejected  all 
tendencies  to  identify  God  in  terms 
of  mind,  being,  or  personality.  Draw- 
ing upon  the  insights  of  Dewey, 
James,  and  Whitehead,  he  urged  that 
God  is  best  defined  as  a  particular 
kind  of  growth,  synthesis,  or  inter- 

The  present  work  is  volume  four 
in  "The  Library  of  Living  Theology." 
Its  pattern  of  organization  is  unique. 
It  opens  with  Wieman's  own  "intel- 
lectual autobiography"  and  is  fol- 
lowed by  nineteen  short  essays,  pre- 
sented by  recognized  scholars.  To 
each  of  these  essayists   Wieman  then 

replies,  giving  special  attention  to  their 
criticisms  of  his  system.  On  the  whole, 
the  book  is  an  exciting  adventure  and 
will  richly  reward  a  careful  exam- 

Today  empirical  theology  is  in 
eclipse,  owing  to  a  renewal  of  the- 
ology closer  to  the  classical  Chris- 
tian tradition,  but  there  are  already 
signs  that  religious  empiricism,  in 
some  form,  will  get  another  look. 
When  this  comes  true,  Wieman's  mode 
of  empirical  theology  will  almost  cer- 
tainly be  re-examined.  Apart  from 
his  own  writings — a  full  list  of  which 
up  to  1963  will  be  found  in  this  sym- 
posium— there  is  no  better  source- 
book with  which  to  do  one's  home- 
work than  the  present  publication. 
The  editor  is  to  be  commended  for 
his  careful  workmanship. 

— H.  Shelton  Smith 

The  Rationality  of  Faith.  Carl  Mi- 
chalson.  Scribner's.  1963.  160  pp. 

The  purpose  of  Michalson's  book 
is  to  give  an  exposition  of  the  signifi- 
cance of  the  modern  concept  of  his- 
tory for  the  Christian  faith.  Michal- 
son  hopes  to  show  "how  it  comes 
about  that  Christians  and  non-Chris- 
tians alike  impute  to  Christianity  ab- 
surdities which  are  not  really  there, 
and  how  these  absurdities  may  evap- 
orate and  give  way  to  solidly  redemp- 
tive meaning  when  the  question  of 
Christian  understanding  is  rigorously 
set  within  the  logic  of  history"  (p. 
19).  The  rationality  of  faith  con- 
sists of  the  absence  of  absurdities  if 
faith  is  approached  on  the  model  of 
history.  Michalson  apparently  hopes 
to  adopt  history  as  "the  model  of 
theological  thinking"   (p.  18). 

There  is  no  reason  to  object  to 
the  use  of  history  as  an  analogy  of 
the   Christian  faith.    But   is   it  justifi- 


able  to  make  history  the  ultimate 
court  of  appeal?  Michalson  also  uses 
the  word  "God,"  but  he  equates  it 
with  history  or  some  facet  thereof. 
Wherever  Michalson  speaks  of  God, 
he  finds  the  meaning  of  the  word  in 
the  historical  dimension.  For  Michal- 
son there  is  no  God  to  appeal  to  be- 
yond history :  "There  is  no  immediate 
relation  between  Christians  and  God : 
that  relation  is  mediated  by  Jesus  of 
Nazareth,  the  word  of  God"  (p.  98). 
Every  aspect  of  God's  being  or  ac- 
tivity relates  to  history :  "The  everlast- 
ing arms  are  made  of  history,  the 
fleshiness  of  the  world"  (p.  105). 
Knowledge  of  God  "cannot  result 
from  natural  testimony"  (p.  55).  Only 
historical  events  reveal  who  God  is, 
the  resurrection,  for  example,  an 
event  "in  which  it  is  revealed  through 
Jesus  of  Nazareth  who  God  really 
is"  (p.  52).  Knowing  God  in  this 
way  should  help  to  find  a  new  re- 
lationship to  the  world :  "The  word 
'God'  is  not  an  invitation  to  point  to 
some  transcendent  reality.  It  is  an 
invocation  to  receive  the  world  from 
beyond  oneself"    (p.  146). 

History  for  Michalson  is  interpre- 
tation. So  is  theology :  "The  task  of 
the  theologian,  like  that  of  the  his- 
torian, is  to  stir  up  the  sediment  of 
meaning  in  the  sedimentation  of 
events.  .  .  .  For  those  who  think  man 
lives  by  facts,  the  pursuit  of  meaning 
will  appear  as  a  form  of  historical 
violence"  (p.  64).  The  task  of  the- 
ology consists  in  working  out  the 
proper  relationship  between  fact  and 
meaning.  But  whenever  we  ask 
Michalson  what  fact  he  might  be  in- 
terpreting, we  get  no  definite  answer, 
although  we  are  told:  "A  statement 
of  fact  may  help  to  settle  an  historical 
question"   (p.  60). 

If  history  is  the  ultimate  court  of 
appeal  also  for  theology,  one  won- 
ders why  reference  to  God  should  be 
made  at  all.  While  history  may  make 
faith  seem  more  rational  and  less  ab- 
surd and  thus  might  function  as  an 
analogy  of  theological  thought,  alone 
it   is   unable   to   give    meaning   to   the 

word    "God."    History    is    God's    in- 
terpreter, but  not  God. 

— Frederick  Herzog 

Tangled  World.  Roger  L.  Shinn. 
Scribner's  1965.  158  pp.  $3. 

The  Meaning  of  Christian  Values  To- 
day. William  L.  Bradley.  Westmin- 
ster. 1964.  176  pp.  $4.50. 

Christian  Responsibility  in  Economic 
Life.  Albert  Terrill  Rasmussen. 
Westminster.  1965.  90  pp.  $1.25. 

These  three  popularly  written  books, 
read  in  conjunction  with  each  other, 
reflect  both  the  present  ethical  situa- 
tion in  America  and  the  situation  in 
American  Christian  ethics.  The  broad 
consensus  in  Christian  social  ethics  in 
this  country  is  seen  in  the  common 
concern  of  the  three  authors  for  a 
realistic  description  of  the  problems 
of  our  complex  and  interrelated  so- 
ciety characterized  by  the  "big  change" 
(Rasmussen)  of  the  organizational 
revolution ;  the  problem  of  the  rela- 
tion of  the  historic  Christian  faith  to 
a  world  held  by  many  to  be  "post- 
Christian"  (Bradley)  ;  and  the  rela- 
tion of  the  individual  to  the  social 

Tangled  World  is  based  on  a  series 
of  television  programs  sponsored  by 
the  United  Church  of  Christ.  In  thir- 
teen chapters,  Shinn  discusses  the 
most  pressing  problems  of  our  society, 
such  as  poverty,  urbanization,  racial 
conflict,  political  and  economic  chal- 
lenges, sexual  ethics,  and  international- 
ism. He  does  not  attempt  to  give 
answers  but  "to  help  people  under- 
stand what  they  are  doing  so  that 
they  can  act  more  responsibly."  As 
befits  the  nature  of  his  audience,  the 
book  is  clearly,  simply  and  interest- 
ingly written ;  description  and  anal- 
ysis are  well  documented  and  illus- 
trated. The  Christian  faith  which  pro- 
vides Shinn's  own  context  is  seldom 
explicitly  stated. 

Rasmussen's  and  Bradley's  books 
appear  respectively  in  the  Westminster 
series  "Christian  Perspectives  on  So- 
cial Problems"  and  "Studies  in  Chris- 
tian    Communication."      The     first    is 


more  successful  than  the  second  in 
fulfilling  the  aim  of  series  and  book. 
Rasmussen  recognizes  the  "tragic 
separation"  between  religion  and  daily 
life  reflected  in  the  gap  between  faith 
and  economic  affairs  but  sees  the  pos- 
sibility of  a  fruitful  dialogue  between 
economic  theorists  and  interpreters  of 
the  Christian  faith.  On  the  basis  of 
an  historical  sketch  of  the  changing 
forms  of  Protestant  ethics  and  of  the 
secular  business  creed,  he  asserts  that 
a  new  convergence  between  Christian 
ethics  and  business  ethics  can  be  seen 
in  decision.  He  submits  the  "Amer- 
ican Business  Creed"  to  a  Christian 
critique,  stressing  cooperation  instead 
of  competition  and  limitation  rather 
than  self-regulation  through  the  op- 
eration of  a  free  economy  (an  ab- 

Bradley  addresses  himself  to  the 
problem  of  the  lack  of  moral  sensi- 
tivity, and  the  "seeming  incommuni- 
cability  of  the  Christian  norms  of  the 
good  life."  The  ideas  of  the  good 
man  and  the  good  life  which  he 
treats  in  the  thought  of  ancient  Greece, 
Old  Testament,  Stoicism,  New  Testa- 
ment, and  Augustine,  Aquinas,  Lu- 
ther and  Calvin  provide  the  context 
for  ethical  principles  and  values.  The 
basic  problem  of  the  good  life  for  the 
good  man  is  that  of  how  the  indi- 
vidual is  to  relate  himself  to  the  so- 
cial order.  In  his  last  chapter,  "Chris- 
tian Ethics  in  a  Post-Christian 
World,"  he  opposes  the  existentialists' 
concern  for  freedom  and  motivation 
with  an  emphasis  upon  order  and 
office ;  relating  this  especially  to  Cal- 
vin's view  of  the  civil  order. 

Bradley  unintentionally,  it  would 
seem,  raises  more  questions  in  the  last 
chapter  than  he  answers.  He  seems 
both  to  accept  the  "seeming  incom- 
municability  of  the  Christian  view 
of  the  good  man  and  the  good  life  in 
our  culture"  and  yet  to  see  "wonder- 
ful opportunities"  for  "sensitizing  the 
leaders  of  our  communities  to  the 
pressing  social  needs  that  confront 
us."  His  discussion  is  neither  clear 
enough  nor  full  enough  to  provide 
even  elementary  guidance  in  the  ef- 
fort to  do  this,  however.    He  seems  to 

rely  upon  the  power  of  self-interest 
on  the  part  of  the  leaders  on  one 
hand  and  pressures  exercised  on  them 
by  those  in  responsible  positions  on 
the  other.  While  he  seeks  to  develop 
an  objective  ethics  "based  upon  the 
priority  of  office  over  him  who  occu- 
pies the  office,"  this  has  little  relevance 
as  a  Christian  ethic  unless  a  meaning- 
ful context  for  values  and  ethical 
principles  is  developed.  The  context- 
ualist  who  recognizes  no  principle 
but  the  "law  of  love"  and  the  need 
for  drawing  on  "the  wisdom  of  the 
ages"  (Bradley,  p.  153)  or  who  in 
the  situational  approach  of  the  new 
morality  "enters  into  every  decision- 
making moment  armed  with  all  the 
wisdom  of  the  culture"  (Joseph  Flet- 
cher, quoted  in  Time,  March  5,  1965, 
p.  44)  may  be  contributing  to  the 
problem  instead  of  helping  to  ame- 
liorate it.  It  recalls  the  desperate  plea 
of  Abner  Dean's  bewildered  hero, 
"Will  the  three  wise  men  please  step 

It  is  the  strength  of  Rasmussen's 
little  book  that  he  shows  the  rele- 
vance of  the  Reformed  ethic  to  eco- 
nomic life  today  and  offers  positive 
suggestions  for  a  revitalized  relation 
of  Christian  faith  and  business  code 
of  ethical  practices ;  also,  that  he 
views  the  Church  as  the  context  of 
Christian  decision-making.  It  is 
worth  noting  that  whereas  Bradley 
puts  greatest  stress  on  the  impor- 
tance of  order  and  the  priority  of 
office  over  person,  he  sees  the  prob- 
lem as  that  of  reaching  the  decision 
maker,  the  individual  leader,  whereas 
Rasmussen  asserts  that  "The  organi- 
zational revolution  has  drastically 
changed  the  decision-making  process 
from  personal  decisions  to  corporate 

American  Christian  social  ethicists 
are  more  and  more  concerned  with 
the  church's  responsibility  to  communi- 
cate with  the  "strategic  elites"  who 
influence  and  direct  public  policy. 
There  is  some  danger,  however,  that 
the  prevailing  values  and  assumptions 
of  our  culture  which  determine  the 
context  and  the  limitations  of  the 
ethical    decisions    of    our    leaders    will 


not  be  given  sufficient  attention  by 
ethicists.  This  requires  more  concern 
for  the  mission  of  the  church  to  the 
ordinary  citizen.  This  may  constitute 
the  more  demanding  and  urgent  ethical 
challenge  to  the  Christian  church, 
taking  a  long  look  ahead  in  the  di- 
rection in  which  our  culture  is  tend- 
ing to  move.  From  this  point  of  view, 
it  would  seem  to  the  reviewer  that 
Rasmussen  has  the  more  balanced  and 
constructive  approach  to  the  problems 
of  contemporary  society  which  all 
three  authors  recognize  and  describe 
in  similar  terms.  Certainly  all  three 
reflect  the  temper  of  thought  of  many 
knowledgeable  and  sensitive  Christian 
ethicists  of  our  day — cognizant  of  the 
bewilderingly  complex  problems  of 
our  society,  aware  of  the  prevailing 
mode  of  thought  which  is  alien  to  the 
traditional  categories  of  the  Christian 
faith,  critical  of  the  failures  of  the 
Church,  and  searching  for  practical 
and  constructive  ways  to  exercise 
Christian  responsibility  for  the  im- 
provement of  man's  total  life.  It 
may  still  be  that  the  basic  problem 
is  one  of  motivation  (contra  Bradley), 
if  love  of  neighbor  remains  the  ethical 
imperative.  If  so,  ethics  must  not 
overlook  the  person  in  its  concern  for 
the  social  order. 

— Thomas   E.   McCollough 

The  Prospects  of  Christianity 
Throughout  the  World.  Edited  by 
M.  Searle  Bates  and  Wilhelm 
Pauck.  Scribner's.  1964.  286  pp. 

"The  non-religious,  entirely  human 
answer,  institutional  and  sociological, 
is  gloomy — but  not  utterly  so,"  writes 
one  churchman.  "Humanly  speaking, 
the  outlook  is  not  very  promising. 
'There  are  more  dangers  than  oppor- 
tunities,' "  says  another.  Yet  this 
realistic,  often  pessimistic  symposium 
leaves  the  reader  with  a  challenge 
and  a  hope  which  are  fundamental  to 
the  Christian  faith. 

The  title  is  somewhat  misleading, 
for  several  contributors  content  them- 
selves with  a  factual  or  statistical 
analysis  of  the  contemporary  reli- 
gious scene  and  give  little  attention  to 

prospects  ahead.  Other  chapters  are 
sheer  gems.  As  could  be  expected 
from  the  author  of  Communism  and 
the  Theologians,  Charles  West's  six- 
teen pages  on  Eastern  Europe  con- 
tain more  profound  understanding  and 
sensitive  insight  into  problems  and 
temptations  of  the  Church  under  Com- 
munism than  most  lengthy  books. 
Charles  Malik  combines  perception 
with  preaching  on  the  Near  East. 
Jose  Miguez  Bonino,  the  only  Meth- 
odist included,  gives  a  clear  and  bal- 
anced picture  of  Latin  America,  as 
does  David  Moses  (one  of  the  World 
Council  Presidents)  for  India,  and 
John  Fleming  for  South  East  Asia. 
In  a  two-part  treatment  of  the  United 
States  Truman  Douglass  and  Robert 
Handy  are  excessively  preoccupied 
(even  for  this  'ecumaniac' !)  with  de- 
nominationalism,  psychologically  and 

The  names  of  Daniel  Jenkins,  Ste- 
phen Neill,  Christian  Baeta,  Masao 
Takenaka  and  others  testify  to  the 
authority  of  the  collection.  Because 
most,  if  not  all,  of  these  contributors 
have  been  intimately  connected  with 
Union  Theological  Seminary  as  pro- 
fessors or  students,  the  symposium  is 
appropriately  dedicated  to  Henry  P. 
Van  Dusen,  distinguished  statesman 
of  ecumenical  Christianity.  The  es- 
says will  be  fascinating  to  anyone  in 
the  least  concerned  with  the  universal 
Church ;  they  ought,  however,  to  be 
read  by  every  provincial  pastor  and 
layman  who  now  neither  knows  nor 
cares  about  the  prospects  of  Christian- 
ity throughout  the  world. 

— Creighton    Lacy 

Living    Doctrine    In    A    Vital    Pulpit. 
Merrill   R.   Abbey.  Abingdon.   1964. 

The  professor  of  preaching  at  Gar- 
rett is  now  following  up  his  recent 
volume  on  Preaching  to  the  Contem- 
porary Mind  (cf.  review  in  the  duke 
divinity  school  bulletin,  November, 
1963,  p.  244)  with  a  book  in 
which  he  looks  at  the  preaching  event 
from  a  perspective  intended  to  sup- 
plement the  more  situation-centered 
approach   taken   there.    The   "flow   of 


traffic  between  situation  and  doctrine" 
goes  in  this  new  work  in  the  opposite 
direction,  from  central  doctrines  to 
the  human  scene. 

The  book  falls  roughly  into  two 
parts.  The  first  four  chapters  repre- 
sent a  discussion  of  the  need  and  the 
rationale,  the  language  and  the  sources 
for  doctrinal  preaching,  while  the 
last  six  chapters  focus  on  some  cen- 
tral affirmations  in  the  Christian 
kerygma,  attempting  to  restate  and 
show  the  relevance  of  these  affirma- 
tions in  the  current  situation.  Pro- 
fessor Abbey  writes  easily,  his  thought 
is  lucid  and  clear,  his  illustrations  are 
rich  in  number  and  potent  in  sug- 
gestiveness,  and  his  main  emphases 
are  sound.  But  the  book  is  not  excit- 
ing, simply  because  its  perspective  is 
so — common.    Let  me  explain. 

Abbey  argues  that  what  people  need 
is  "sheer  basic  (doctrinal)  informa- 
tion" (using  J.  B.  Phillips'  phrase), 
"a  profoundly  theological  gospel,"  an 
"articulate  doctrine,"  "clearly  (a  fav- 
orite term)  stated,"  "powerfully 
taught,"  "strongly  (another  favorite) 
preached."  And  how  does  the  preacher 
do  this?  By  "telling"  it  (p.  31). 

Too  simple?  Well,  Abbey  goes  fur- 
ther, of  course.  He  speaks  of  "teach- 
ing winsomely,"  "making  things  clear," 
"planning  the  progression  of  one's 
,preaching',"  "grappling  with  fresh 
knowledge,"  and  "being  in  dialogue 
with  emerging  issues  and  new  thought- 
forms."  He  even  stresses  the  im- 
portance of  "dialogue  between  pastor 
and  congregation."  But  when  one  be- 
gins to  be  eager  to  see  how  this 
double  dialogue  will  come  out,  one 
finds  that  Abbey  runs  away  from  the 
deeper  issues  only  to  take  up  some 
practical  suggestions,  that  the  preach- 
er "will  have  his  people  constantly 
before  him  as  he  lays  out  the  plan 
for  a  year's  preaching,"  and  that 
"wherever  he  goes  among  texts,  note- 
books, ideas,  reading,  he  will  ask, 
'What  does  this  say  to  my  people's 
need?'"   (p.  43). 

Trite?  Well,  the  book  gives  a  great 
many  good  prescriptions  for  a  work- 
horse. It  does  not  propose  to  analyse 
the  nature  of  a  thoroughbred.    There 

is  no  discussion  here  of  the  nature  of 
doctrine  as  such.  Religious  language 
is  quite  rightly  seen  to  be  meaningful 
only  on  the  basis  of  "religious  ex- 
perience," but  the  questions  about  the 
nature  of  religious  experience  and 
its  relation  to  other  human  experience 
are  not  touched.  And  when  Abbey 
refers  to  the  Christian  kerygma  as  the 
"referent"  of  both  our  religious  ex- 
perience and  our  religious  language, 
he  willingly  takes  them  on  face  value 
as  "deeds"  or  "events,"  not  even  men- 
tioning the  difficulty  of  deciding  what 
is  what,  fact  and  the  faith-interpre- 
tation of  fact,  within  the  kerygmatic 
event.  How  can  we  expect  to  be  able 
to  make  doctrine  living  and  the  pulpit 
vital  to  contemporary  man  without 
facing  those  questions  which  are  really 
the  cause  of  his  religious  dullness  and 
intellectual  confusion  ?  Is  it  not  true  to 
say  that  modern  man  does  not  simply 
need  someone  to  tell  him  what  the 
creed  or  the  kerygma  say ;  he  needs 
someone  to  guide  him  to  understand 
the  meaning  of  that  which  is  said? 

Professor  Abbey  has  made  an  at- 
tempt, but  he  is  only  partly  success- 
ful. His  book  points  more  in  the 
direction  of  kerygmatic  preaching  than 
doctrinal  preaching.  He  manages  to 
"state  clearly"  the  Christian  kerygma 
he  is  dealing  with,  but  he  does  not 
explain  how  these  affirmations  are  to 
be  understood,  and  so  he  really  never 
reaches  the  level  of  good  teaching, 

For  those  who  want  to  see  how  the 
kerygma  can  be  restated  in  the  cur- 
rent idiom,  however,  it  is  a  useful 
book — as  far  as  it  goes.    — Thor  Hall 

Archaeology  in  Biblical  Research. 
Walter  G.  Williams.  Abingdon. 
1965.  223  pp.  $4.75. 

During  the  last  decade  a  number  of 
new  books  on  Biblical  archaeology 
have  appeared.  Most  of  them  are  ex- 
pensive, because  of  the  need  for  pictor- 
ial illustration ;  many  of  them  are 
highly  specialized  and  rather  tech- 
nical. Thus  an  inquiring  student  or 
an  average  layman  might  find  the 
current  books  beyond  his  comprehen- 
sion   or    the    capability   of    his    purse. 


In  the  present  work,  the  author  has 
attempted  to  make  matters  plain  to 
the  educated  reader  who  has  no  pre- 
vious knowledge  of  the  subject,  and 
the  publisher  has  cooperated  by  cre- 
ating an  inexpensive  volume  of  modest 
size  and  format,  even  adding  a  few 
illustrations,  maps,  and  drawings. 

The  book  is  divided  into  three  parts. 
Part  I,  "Essence  of  Biblical  Archae- 
ology," defines  the  subject,  gives  a 
brief  history  of  it,  and  describes  some 
of  the  institutions  that  carry  on  ar- 
chaeological work  and  publish  its  re- 
sults. Notable  among  these  is,  of 
course,  the  American  School  of  Ori- 
ental Research,  of  which  the  Duke 
Divinity  School  is  a  corporation  mem- 

Part  II,  "Aspects  of  Archaeology," 
deals  with  methodologies,  such  as 
surface  surveys,  excavation,  accidental 
discoveries,  preservation  of  exposed 
antiquities,  museum  display,  and  pub- 
lication. The  outstanding  case  of  ac- 
cidental discovery  in  recent  times  is 
that  of  the  famous  Dead  Sea  Scrolls. 
In  this  section,  the  author  takes  pains 
to  explain  why  pottery  and  even  small 
sherds  are  so  useful  to  the  archae- 
ologist, though  they  seem  dull  and 
senseless  to  the  untutored  layman. 
Here  we  also  learn  of  the  excavator's 
hazards  of  snakes,  scorpions,  dysen- 
tery,  and   malaria. 

Part  III,  "The  World  in  Which  the 
Bible  Was  Written,"  occupies  most  of 
the  volume  and  portrays  the  results 
that  are  of  interest  to  the  author.  A 
few  of  these  results  may  be  men- 
tioned :  the  inconclusive  identification 
of  Mizpah ;  the  conclusive  identifi- 
cation of  Gibeon ;  improved  knowl- 
edge of  the  chronology  of  the  kings 
of  Israel  and  Judah ;  the  discovery  of 
the  Sumerians  and  their  history;  fur- 
ther knowledge  of  the  Hittites ;  Egyp- 
tian and  Mesopotamian  literary  paral- 
lels to  the  Old  Testament ;  new  knowl- 
edge of  musical  instruments  in  the 
Bible ;  parallels  to  Biblical  customs  or 
language  from  Mari,  Nuzi,  and  Ugar- 
it ;  parallels  to  Old  Testament  law 
from  various  Mesopotamian  codes ; 
decipherment  of  Egyptian  hieroglyphic 
and  Mesopotamian  cuneiform  writing; 

new  light  on  the  history  of  the  alpha- 
bet; the  finding  and  interpretation  of 
the  Dead  Sea  Scrolls,  perhaps  the 
most  important  of  all  recent  results 
of  archaeological  activity. 

The  author,  Professor  of  Old  Testa- 
ment at  the  Iliff  School  of  Theology, 
is  not  a  professional  archaeologist, 
though  he  has  had  some  experience  in 
the  field  in  trips  to  the  Near  East 
from  time  to  time.  He  is  an  outstand- 
ing teacher  and  interpreter  of  the 
Bible  and  it  is  from  this  vantage 
point  that  he  has  performed  a  service 
for  the  inquiring  student  or  layman. 
His  book  will  be  useful  to  a  wide 
circle  of  readers. — W.  F.   Stinespring 

Genesis,  Introduction,  Translation,  and 
Notes  (Anchor  Bible,  Vol.  I). 
E.  A.  Speiser.  Doubleday.  1964. 
lxxvi,   379  pp.  $6. 

The  Anchor  Bible,  when  the  re- 
viewer first  heard  of  it  some  years 
ago,  was  to  be  an  "interfaith"  com- 
mentary of  high  quality,  the  various 
volumes  to  be  produced  by  Catholics, 
Jews,  or  Protestants  with  regard  only 
for  competence  and  without  regard 
for  theological  position.  The  volumes 
also  were  to  be  issued  as  paperbacks 
in  order  to  make  them  accessible  to 
nearly  all  students.  The  first  idea 
seems  in  a  fair  way  to  be  realized. 
The  second,  however,  has  been  given 
up,  at  least  for  the  time  being,  and 
several  volumes  have  now  appeared 
as  hardbacks  at  conventional  prices. 
Since  thirty-eight  volumes  have  been 
projected,  it  will  be  seen  that  cost  of 
the  entire  set  may  well  be  more  than 
$200.  The  general  editors  are  the 
distinguished  W.  F.  Albright  and  his 
disciple,    D.    N.    Freedman. 

One  of  the  first  thoughts  that  come 
to  a  reviewer  at  this  point  is  of  the 
unfairness  of  reviews  like  this,  based 
on  a  few  hours  of  reading  in  a  work 
that  has  cost  the  author  many  months 
or  years  of  devoted  labor.  Yet  the 
effort  must  be  made,  and  it  would  be 
fair  to  nobody  to  speak  only  in  terms 
of  praise. 

The  Introduction  is  divided  into 
two  approximately  equal  parts:  (1) 
"The  Biblical  Process,"  by  which  the 


author  means  his  attitude  vis  a  vis 
Biblical  criticism  and  Biblical  the- 
ology; and  (2),  introduction  to  Gene- 
sis specifically.  The  first  part  begins 
by  rejecting  the  fundamentalist  idea 
that  Moses  wrote  all  the  Pentateuch 
or  any  large  part  thereof.  The  author 
then  goes  on  to  accept  the  standard 
literary  analysis  into  J,  E,  D,  P,  and 
R ;  he  even  speaks  respectfully  of 
Julius  Wellhausen  and  R.  H.  Pfeiffer. 
Thus  the  rumor  that  The  Anchor 
Bible  would  display  an  anti-critical 
tendency  is  shown  from  the  very  first 
to  be  false.  Mirabile  dictu  et  visu, 
in  the  translation  the  documents  are 
distinguished  from  one  another  by  a 
printing  device,  probably  the  first  time 
this  has  been  done  in  an  English 
translation  since  Moffatt's  Old  Testa- 
ment did  it  more  than  forty  years  ago. 
Clearly,  J,  E,  D,  and  P  are  here  to 
stay  at  least  a  while  longer,  and 
Speiser   is  aware  of  this   fact. 

Though  Speiser  rejects  such  addi- 
tional symbolism  as  J1,  J2,  L,  and  S, 
he  does  suggest  one  new  symbol  of 
his  own,  namely  "T"  (in  quotation 
marks),  meaning  Tradition,  to  signify 
the  pre-literary  stage  lying  behind 
J,  E,  and  P.  Pfeiffer  also  speaks  of 
"the  traditions  common  to  J  and  E." 
Speiser,  however,  being  an  expert  on 
Hurrian  culture,  stresses  the  Hurrian 
elements  in  these  traditions,  whereas 
Pfeiffer  emphasizes  Canaanite  mate- 
rial. Speiser  has  the  advantage  here 
of  being  able  to  utilize  recent  re- 
searches not  available  when  Pfeiffer 

The  second  section  of  the  first  part 
of  the  Introduction  is  entitled  "Gene- 
sis of  the  Biblical  Process"  and  is 
devoted  to  the  author's  special  Bib- 
lical-theological contribution,  namely 
Abrahamic  monotheism.  Our  readers 
are  familiar  with  a  brand  of  Mosaic 
monotheism  proposed  and  defended  by 
the  school  of  Albright  (the  general 
editor  of  this  series).  Many  reputable 
scholars  reject  this  idea  and  put  the 
rise  of  true  monotheism  much  later, 
say  between  the  eighth  and  sixth 
centuries  B.C.  It  is  somewhat  sur- 
prising, therefore,  to  find  the  author 
of   this   volume   putting  the   origin   of 

monotheism  so  early.  The  author 
himself  knows  that  there  will  be  rais- 
ing of  eyebrows,  and  he  seeks  to 
ward  off  objections.  Admitting  that 
there  is  no  firm  basis  for  dating  Abra- 
ham and  no  proof  of  his  historicity, 
he  yet  makes  bold  to  read  the  hypo- 
thetical mind  of  this  hypothetical  man. 
Mosaic  monotheism  is  not  the  answer, 
Speiser  thinks,  because  this  would  be 
"unthinkable  without  the  prior  labors 
of  the  patriarchs."  But  "there  had 
to  be  a  first  time,  and  place,  and 
person" — Abraham.  Abraham  lived  in 
a  polytheistic  society ;  he  rebelled 
against  it  and  came  forth  with  the 
most  important  theological  concept  in 
history.  The  Mosaic  monotheism  of 
the  Albright  school  was  hard  for 
many  to  take ;  this  will  be  harder. 
For  one  thing,  Moses  emerges  more 
clearly  in  history  as  an  individual ;  no 
one  thinks  of  Moses  as  the  symbol 
of  a  tribe  or  an  eponymous  ancestor ; 
but  all  the  patriarchs,  from  Abraham 
to  Benjamin,  have  this  symbolic  and 
eponymous  aspect,  as  Genesis  49:28 
clearly  states.  This  tribal  aspect  is 
too  much  neglected  by  Speiser 
throughout   the  book. 

The  second  part  of  the  Introduction 
treats  of  the  literary  structure  of 
Genesis,  the  Mesopotamian  background 
of  the  Primeval  History,  and  prob- 
lems of  exegesis  and  translation.  Lack 
of  space  forbids  detailed  comment  on 
all  of  these  items.  Most  noteworthy 
is  the  discussion  of  the  Mesopotamian 
background.  Speiser  is  probably  the 
outstanding  living  authority  on  this 
subject,  and  he  here  utilizes  his  vast 
knowledge  most  effectively  to  show 
why  our  Bible  begins  as  it  does  and 
the   meaning  of  this  beginning. 

Some  of  Speiser's  theories  of  trans- 
lation are  to  cut  loose  from  depen- 
dence on  previous  versions,  to  be  a 
bit  daring  in  emendation  when  neces- 
sary, to  clarify  difficult  passages  by 
reference  to  Mesopotamian  parallels,  to 
keep  in  mind  special  Hebrew  usages 
such  as  the  intransitive  Hiphil  and 
the  durative  Hithpael,  to  use  up-to- 
date  but  simple  and  correct  English, 
and  above  all  not  to  translate  the  same 
Hebrew    word    always    by    the    same 


English  word.  This  latter  is  indeed 
a  good  rule,  like  most  of  the  others, 
but  it  is  overdone  here.  E.g.,  a 
common  Hebrew  idiom,  always  mean- 
ing the  same  thing  ("to  take  as  a 
wife")  is  translated  in  five  different 
ways.  Commendable  and  interesting 
is  this  translator's  sensitivity  to  hen- 
diadys.  E.g.,  1  :2,  RSV  "without  form 
and  void,"  Speiser  "a  formless  waste" ; 
12:1,  RSV  "your  country  and  your 
kindred,"  Speiser  "your  native  land" ; 
24:27,  RSV  "his  steadfast  love  and 
his  faithfulness,"  Speiser  "his  stead- 
fast kindness"  ;  e t  alibi. 

The  body  of  the  book  is  of  course 
the  translation,  arranged  in  small  sec- 
tions (not  coterminous  with  the 
chapters),  each  section  followed  first 
by  "Notes"  then  by  "Comment."  We 
conclude  with  a  few  of  the  most  strik- 
ing translations,  notes,  or  comments. 
1:2— Instead  of  RSV  "the  Spirit  of 
God"  or  "the  wind  of  God"  (note), 
Speiser  says  "an  awesome  wind"  and 
gives  good  parallels  to  show  that  the 
word  Elohim  should  not  always  be 
translated  literally  as  "God."  1 :26 — 
Instead  of  "Let  us  make  man  in  our 
image,  after  our  likeness,"  Speiser 
translates  "I  will  make  man  in  my 
image,  after  my  likeness" ;  this  is  the 
easy  way  out  by  refusing  to  see  the 
problem  of  the  "us."  2:11 — The  river 
"winds  through  the  whole  land"  in- 
stead of  "flows  around  the  whole 
land" — a  considerable  improvement. 
2:13 — "The  land  of  Cush"  here  is  not 
Ethiopia  but  the  country  of  the  Kas- 
sites,  a  Mesopotamian  people  (cf. 
10:8).  2:14— Hiddekel  is  translated 
into  the  better  known  name  "Tigris." 
10:9 — "Nimrod,  a  mighty  hunter  by 
the  will  of  Yahweh."  10:15— "Heth" 
here  means  not  Hittites  but  Hurrians 
(Horites).  11 :28— Haran,  not  Ur, 
was  Abraham's  birthplace,  according 
to  Speiser ;  Ur  is  an  intrusion  in  the 
text  (many  will  disagree).  12:13 — 
The  wife-sister  theme  in  Genesis  can 
only  be  explained  by  customs  peculiar 
to  the  Hurrians.  Chapter  14 — This 
chapter  cannot  be  assigned  to  any  of 
the  documents ;  it  stands  apart  and  is 
from  a  very  early,  non-Hebrew 
source ;  thus  it  offers  a  sort  of  non- 

Hebraic  proof  of  the  historicity  of 
Abraham.  Chapter  16 — A  text  from 
Nuzi  illuminates  the  procedure  where- 
by a  childless  wife  provides  her  hus- 
band with  a  concubine  to  give  him 
an  heir,  another  instance  of  Hurrian 
background.  19 :30 — Speiser's  remark, 
"Lot  and  his  two  daughters  had  every 
reason  to  believe  that  they  were  the 
last  people  on  earth,"  sounds  very 
modern.  22:1-19 — In  spite  of  the  use 
of  Elohim-  as  the  divine  name,  Speiser 
feels  that  this  story  of  the  near  sacri- 
fice of  Isaac  is  basically  from  J. 
Chapter  23 — The  "children  of  Heth" 
in  this  chapter  were  probably  similar 
to  the  Jebusites  of  Jerusalem,  "not 
only  non-Canaanite  but  non-Semitic 
as  well." 

These  few  examples  will  serve  to 
show  the  many  interesting  and  valu- 
able observations  in  the  volume.  The 
author  has  spoken  boldly,  and  often 
authoritatively.  He  cannot  convince 
everybody  on  every  point,  but  every- 
body can  learn  much  from  this  book, 
and  everybody  can  be  grateful  to  the 
author  for  his  labors  and  to  the  edi- 
tors and  publisher  for  beginning  a 
new  series  that  will  reveal  to  the 
general  public  much  knowledge  and 
many  insights  not  found  in  previous 
works. — W.   F.   Stinespring. 

Archaeology  of  the  New  Testament. 
R.  K.  Harrison.  Association.  1964. 
xiii  +  138  pp.  $3.95. 

The  aim  of  this  work  is  an  admirable 
one,  to  describe  ".  .  .  the  bearing  of 
archaeology  on  the  New  Testament 
for  the  general  reader,  with  annota- 
tions for  the  more  advanced  student" 
(p.  xiii).  The  author  discusses  the 
type  and  value  of  archaeological  dis- 
coveries for  our  understanding  of  the 
Palestinian  background  out  of  which 
Jesus  came,  of  the  Gospels,  of  Paul, 
and  of  the  growing  Church.  Addi- 
tional chapters  are  included  dealing 
with  the  Dead  Sea  Scroll  community 
in  Palestine  and  the  Gnostic  commun- 
ity in  Egypt    (Nag  Hammadi). 

The  reviewer  feels  that  this  work 
fails  to  do  what  it  set  out  to  do, 
namely  to  communicate  archaeological 
information    to    the    "general    reader." 


Some  of  the  blame  for  this  must  be 
placed  upon  those  who  placed  the 
notes  at  the  end  of  the  book  rather 
than  at  the  bottom  of  the  page.  A 
second  critcism  is  that  the  author  uses 
terms  (unexplained)  which  the  gen- 
eral reader  would  probably  not  under- 
stand, i.e.  "Hellenization"  (p.  22). 
The  tendency  to  compress  has  caused 
the  work  to  be  more  rather  than  less 
difficult   to  understand. 

The  reader  must  be  cautioned  con- 
cerning the  error  on  p.  52,  last  line. 
The  date  there  should  be  23  A.D. 
rather    than    B.C. — James    M.    Efird. 

A  Neiv  Testament  History:  The 
Story  of  the  Emerging  Church. 
Floyd  V.  Filson.  Westminster.  1964. 
xi  +  435  pp.  XVI  Plates  (West- 
minster  Maps).    $7.50. 

Most  students  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment are  delighted  when  they  hear  of 
a  new  book  from  Floyd  V.  Filson. 
They  have  good  reason  to  be  in  this 
latest  effort,  for  it  reflects  his  years 
of  mature  and  sound  scholarship.  It 
is  indeed  a  worthy  companion  to  John 
Bright,  A  History  of  Israel. 

The  aim  of  this  work  is  to  give 
"the  student,  the  minister,  and  the 
serious  general  reader  ...  a  con- 
nected account  of  how  the  church 
emerged"  (p.  ix).  Professor  Filson 
begins  his  story  with  a  discussion  of 
the  historical  and  religious  background 
at  the  time  of  Antiochus  Epiphanes 
(175  B.C.)  and  continues  to  the  middle 
of  the  second  century  A.D.  To  ac- 
complish this  end  the  author  divides 
the  period  into  five  sections :  The 
Background ;  Jesus,  the  Central  Fig- 
ure ;  The  Jerusalem  Church ;  Paul 
the  Apostle  to  Gentiles ;  and  the 
Church  Anchored  in  History.  In- 
corporated into  this  historical  frame- 
work are  discussions  of  the  New 
Testament  literature  and  the  prob- 
lems of  the  early  Church,  illustrated 
by  reference  to  various  types  of  lit- 
erature, Christian  and  non-Christian, 
canonical   and   non-canonical. 

The  reader  of  this  work  finds  many 
positive  aids  in  addition  to  Filson's 
smooth  and  clear  style  of  writing. 
The  footnotes  are  numerous  and  give 

sources  and  direction  for  further  read- 
ing. In  addition  to  this  one  finds  a 
set  of  the  very  fine  Westminster  Maps 
as  well  as  a  correlated  chronology 
(General  History  with  Jewish  and 
Christian  History,  even  though  the 
latter  is  a  bit  sketchy  at  points)  and 
a  genealogy  of  the  Herodian  Family. 
There  may  be  some  readers  who 
will  not  appreciate  fully  the  historical 
orientation  and  emphasis  of  this  work. 
Nevertheless,  this  is  an  excellent  work, 
highly  readable,  and  accomplishes  its 
purpose  admirably.  It  would  be  an 
excellent  work  for  parish  ministers 
to  read  to  refresh  themselves  on  New 
Testament  history  and  introduction. 

— James  M.  Efird 

The  Composition  and  Order  of  the 
Fourth  Gospel.  Bultmann's  Literary 
Theory.  Dwight  Moody  Smith,  Jr. 
Yale  Press.  1965.  272  pp.  $10. 

Readers  with  little  or  no  facility  in 
German  have  been  hopelessly  handi- 
capped in  their  evaluation  of  Rudolf 
Bultmann's  exposition  of  the  Fourth 
Gospel.  In  his  Theology  of  the  New 
Testament,  Bultmann  derives  John's 
theology  from  observations  concerning 
the  evangelist's  sophisticated  use  of 
non-Christian,  Gnostic  source  mate- 
rials, as  well  as  of  crassly  miraculous 
traditions  of  Jesus'  ministry.  He  also 
excises  from  the  text  of  John  passages 
which  he  attributes  to  an  editor  who 
sought  to  harmonize  it  with  the 
Church's  other  gospels,  and  to  con- 
form it  to  the  Church's  eschatology 
and  sacramentalism.  Until  now,  Bult- 
mann's method  and  argument  support- 
ing these  positions  have  been  inac- 
cessible to  English  readers.  With  the 
publication  of  this  valuable  study,  an 
expansion  of  the  author's  doctoral 
dissertation,  there  is  no  longer  any 
excuse  for  an  uncritical  appropriation 
or  dismissal  of  Bultmann's  impressive 
interpretation  of  the  theology  of  the 
Fourth  Evangelist. 

Moody  Smith  (Duke  B.D.,  1957) 
has  provided  a  clear  exposition  of 
Bultmann's  complex  theories  concern- 
ing the  production  of  the  Gospel  of 
John.  He  assumes  that  the  reader  has 
no  acquaintance  with  Bultmann's  crit- 


ical  methods  and  describes  in  detail 
the  stylistic,  contextual  and  theological 
criteria  by  which  Bultmann  distin- 
guishes sources  from  the  Fourth  Evan- 
gelist's annotations  and  comment.  He 
shows  first  how  Bultmann  discovers 
in  the  Prologue  to  the  Gospel  a 
major  source,  the  Offcnbarungsreden 
(revelation  discourses),  observing  its 
poetic  form,  the  Semitic  quality  of 
its  language,  its  Gnostic  mythical  mo- 
tifs. This  source  is  said  to  underlie 
many  of  the  discourses  in  the  Gospel, 
e.g.,  chapters  3,  5,  10,  14-17.  Bult- 
mann also  finds  in  the  Prologue's  pro- 
saic explanations  (1 :6-8,  15)  telltale 
characteristics  of  the  evangelist's 
literary  style,  manifest  throughout  the 
Gospel.  These  stylistic  criteria  en- 
able Bultmann  to  distinguish  other 
written  sources :  the  semeia-source 
(sign  source)  which  provided  most  of 
the  miracle  stories  in  chapters  1-12; 
the  passion-resurrection  narrative 
which  underlies  18:1-19:41;  and,  fi- 
nally, other  fragmentary  sources  akin 
to  Synoptic  materials.  Smith  recon- 
structs the  Greek  text  of  all  of  these 
alleged  sources. 

In  a  second  section,  Smith  sum- 
marizes the  critical  reactions  of  nu- 
merous scholars,  mostly  European,  to 
Bultmann's  source  theory.  He  has 
written  an  important  chapter  in  the 
history  of  criticism  of  the  Fourth 
Gospel,  showing  clearly  that  there 
has  not  been  published  a  genuine  al- 
ternative to  Bultmann's  account  of 
the  entire  process  of  John's  composi- 
tion. He  concludes,  however,  that  the 
critical  examination  of  various  ele- 
ments of  Bultmann's  theory  has  ma- 
terially weakened  his  case.  Bult- 
mann's stylistic  criteria  seem  inade- 
quate as  a  means  of  separating  con- 
tinuous sources,  especially  the  so- 
called  O ffenbarungsredcn.  Bultmann's 
belief  that  a  Christian  evangelist  has 
taken  a  pre-Christian,  Gnostic  docu- 
ment, emptied  of  its  mythical  meaning, 
and  made  it  "the  theological  back- 
bone" of  his  work  is  judged  to  be 
historically  improbable.  Also  improb- 
able is  Bultmann's  supposition  that 
a  narrative  tradition  like  the  hypo- 
thetical    sign     source     was    circulated 

without  containing  Jesus'  words. 
Smith  observes  the  irony  of  Bult- 
mann's source  criticism,  that  at  the 
point  where  his  theory  "becomes  en- 
tirely credible"  his  method  is  least 
useful.  In  the  passion  narrative,  Bult- 
mann "has  the  greatest  difficulty  sepa- 
rating the  source  with  precision,  and 
the  least  success  in  finding  stylistic 
evidence  to  undergird  his  proposal" 
(p.   113). 

The  third  section  of  the  book  ex- 
amines Bultmann's  theory  of  the  tex- 
tual disruption  of  the  Fourth  Evan- 
gelist's work,  and  of  its  imperfect 
restoration  by  "an  ecclesiastical  re- 
dactor," who  appended  chapter  21.  For 
Bultmann,  the  most  glaring  examples 
of  disorder  are  the  position  of  chap- 
ter 6  after  chapter  5 ;  the  structure 
of  chapter  10;  the  present  isolated 
position  of  12:44-50;  and  the  "ob- 
vious" disorder  of  chapters  13-17. 
Apparently  the  redactor  was  able 
neither  to  restore  a  badly  mixed  and 
mangled  text  nor  remove  the  signs 
of  his  failure.  Has  Bultmann  suc- 
ceeded where  the  original  redactor 
and  later  editors  have  failed?  Smith 
considers  this  to  be  unlikely;  how- 
ever, for  him  it  is  not  enough  to 
conclude  that  Bultmann's  rearrange- 
ments cannot  be  proven.  He  examines 
carefully  Bultmann's  arguments  one 
by  one.  In  each  instance  he  assumes 
that  the  burden  of  proof  is  upon  Bult- 
mann, who  "must  not  only  show  that 
his  order  is  preferable  but  also  that 
the  present  one  is  so  exceedingly  diffi- 
cult as  to  be  virtually  impossible" 
(p.  130).  The  Greek  text  of  Bult- 
mann's hypothetical  "original"  is 
printed   in   full. 

A  final  section  examines  Bultmann's 
views  concerning  the  theology  of  the 
redactor.  Smith  refuses  to  dismiss 
their  validity  from  the  perspective  of 
some  alternately  comprehensive  view 
of  John's  theology  or  the  develop- 
ment of  the  ancient  Church  which 
he  is  unable  to  establish  in  this  study. 
His  judgment  is  cautious:  "when 
taken  as  a  whole  the  material  as- 
signed to  redaction  does  not  present 
an     entirely     consistent     picture,     nor 


does    it    lend    unqualified    support"    to 
Bultmann's  literary  theory. 

Hopefully  this  fair  presentation  and 
assessment  of  Bultmann's  method,  and 
of  the  data  on  which  his  judgments 
are  based,  will  lead  to  other  and  more 
satisfactory  solutions.  The  reviewer 
agrees  with  the  author :  "Not  until  a 
comparably  scientific  exegesis  of  John 
appears  can  one  rest  easy  with  a 
substantially  different  interpretation 
of  the  theology  of  the  Fourth  Evange- 
list and  his  place  in  the  development 
of  Christian  thought"  (p.  249)  — 
James  L.  Price. 

The  Corinthian  Church — A  Biblical 
Approach  to  Urban  Culture.  Wil- 
liam Baird.  Abingdon.  1964.  224 
pp.  $4.75. 

"Some  Ethical  Issues  in  First  Co- 
rinthians" might  more  appropriately 
have  been  the  title  and  purview  of 
Dr.  Baird's  book.  The  reference  to 
"urban  culture"  in  the  title  represents 
the  thesis  Dr.  Baird  has  undertaken 
with  little  success.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  book  scores  some  solid  pluses. 
The  ethical  issues  are  skillfully  dis- 
tinguished, and  the  exposition  of  Paul's 
thinking  is  faithfully  narrated.  The 
book  also  provides  an  additional  help- 
ful commentary  on  the  Epistle,  a 
thorough  citation  of  authorities,  and 
effective  application  to  the  life  of  the 
contemporary  church. 

In  First  Corinthians,  Dr.  Baird  re- 
minds us,  Paul  responded  to  several 
concrete  ethical  problems  plaguing 
the  Achaian  church.  The  church  was 
divided  into  "Paul,"  "Apollos," 
"Cephas"  and  "Christ"  factions  be- 
cause the  members  were  too  enamored 
of  their  own  wisdom  and  too  much 
inclined  to  personality  cults.  The 
apostle's  solution  was  to  urge  the 
"wisdom  of  God"  as  opposed  to  the 
wisdom  of  this  world  and  loyalty  to 
God  rather  than  apostles.  Dr.  Baird 
suggests  that  we  may  have  in  these 
Pauline  admonitions  the  platform  on 
the  basis  of  which  to  move  from  the 
divisiveness  of  denominationalism  to 
Christian  unity. 

Relationships  in  the  church  at  Cor- 
inth   were    threatened    by    incest    and 

other  forms  of  sexual  deviation  to 
which  Paul's  response  was  unequivo- 
cal. The  church  must  separate  sex 
offenders  from  itself.  However,  his 
ethic  becomes  relevant  for  Americans 
who  find  themselves  in  a  sex  revolu- 
tion, not  in  his  out-of-hand  con- 
demnation of  deviation,  but  in  his 
understanding  of  the  newness  of  life 
in  Christ  and  the  seriousness  of  sin 
in  the  new  humanity — "the  corporate 
personality  of  the  church."  Turning 
to  other  issues,  Dr.  Baird  says  that 
what  Paul  deals  with  under  the  head- 
ing of  "idolatry"  we  experience  as 
secularism  and  that  problems  with 
worship  in  ancient  Corinth  and  mod- 
ern megapolis  reflect  man's  failure 
to  understand  his  relation  to  God. 
With  the  exception  of  the  last  few 
pages  of  these  chapters,  the  book  re- 
flects the  work  of  a  journeyman 
craftsman,  but,  when  he  attempts  to 
clinch  his  thesis,  which  should  not 
have  been  undertaken,  he  apparently 
moves  out  of  the  area  of  his  compe- 

It  is  unfortunate  that  the  book  un- 
dertakes as  its  thesis  the  proposition 
that  the  Corinthian  church  is  an 
analogue  of  the  church  in  contempo- 
rary urban  culture  characterized  by 
problems  and  solutions  for  which  there 
are  modern  parallels.  The  implica- 
tion is  that  Paul  met,  grappled  with, 
and  offered  solutions  for  the  prob- 
lems of  the  Corinthian  urban  culture 
and  that  those  solutions  provide  light 
to  illuminate  our  modern  quest  for 
answers  to  the  problems  of  urbanism. 
Dr.  Baird,  however,  fails  to  demon- 
strate a  parallelism  between  the  prob- 
lems of  the  Corinthian  church  and 
modern  urban  culture.  At  most,  he 
succeeds  only  in  convincing  us  that 
the  modern  church  has,  in  some  fash- 
ion problems  like  those  of  the  Corin- 
thian church. 

To  deal  with  uniquely  metropolitan 
problems,  Dr.  Baird  must  face  a 
complex  of  phenomena  that  are  char- 
acteristic of  and  peculiar  to  our  age. 
Today's  giant  city  is  today's  child, 
born  of  the  enabling  inventions  of 
rapid  transportation  and  communica- 
tion.   Mobility  makes  great  concentra- 


tions  of  population  possible  and  curses 
cities  with  unwanted  by-products. 
Congestion,  automation  and  impersonal 
interdependence  are  problems  that  must 
occupy  any  book  aspiring  to  qualify 
as  an  essay  on  urban  culture.  The 
Corinthian  Church  hardly  acknowl- 
edges the  existence  of  such  problems. 
From  the  standpoint  of  the  mass  of 
information  presented,  the  book  is 
impressive.  The  style  is  readable  and 
lucid.  In  each  chapter  the  reader  is 
led  through  a  careful  study  of  the 
text  under  consideration  to  conclusions 
that  are  wrought  out  with  patience 
and  careful  discrimination.  The  fact 
is  that  these  essays  should  be  and 
undoubtedly  will  be  the  bases  of  many 
sermons  dealing  with  the  ethical  is- 
sues   they   discuss. — James    M.    Efird. 

The  Epistles  of  James,  Peter,  and 
Jude.  (Anchor  Bible,  Vol.  37)  Bo 
Reicke.  Doubleday.  1964.  xxxviii, 
221    pp.  $5. 

This  is  Volume  37  of  The  Anchor 
Bible.  It  is  the  first  to  appear  of 
thirteen  New  Testament  volumes  (26- 
38).    (See  review  on  page  154.) 

The  aim  of  this  new  series  to  make 
the  Bible  "accessible  to  the  modern 
reader"  cannot  be  considered  a  novel 
purpose,  however  worthy.  The  con- 
tent of  this  initial  volume  "is  not 
meant  to  be  overly  technical,"  and 
indeed  it  is  not.  No  Greek  print  is 
used  and  where  Greek  terms  are 
needed  in  footnotes  they  are  trans- 
literated. Yet  this  early  volume  does 
not  promise  a  "popular"  or  layman's 
commentary,  either.  It  is  notable  that 
Reicke  (although  he  knows  English 
well)  composed  in  his  native  Swedish, 
which  has  been  translated  by  Profes- 
sor A.  V.  Wallenkampf. 

The  format  of  the  new  series  is 
traditional  too :  introduction,  transla- 
tion, commentary.  Reicke's  strongest 
point  is  translation,  the  most  satisfy- 
ing element  of  his  volume.  The  in- 
troduction element,  however,  is  disap- 
pointing, for  it  turns  back  the  calendar 
several  decades,  so  as  to  invalidate  in 
the  view  of  many  scholars  much  of 
the  discussion.    Furthermore,  whereas 

the  author  emphasizes  the  judgment 
that  "the  political  and  social  problems 
of  their  time  were  of  extraordinary 
importance  to  both  the  writers  and  the 
readers  of  these  epistles,"  little  use  is 
made  of  such  knowledge  in  the  exe- 
gesis of  the  text.  The  commentary 
does  not  demonstrate  the  principle 
that  environmental  circumstances  are 
reflected  in  the  epistles  and  are  rele- 
vant to  their  understanding.  Indeed, 
the  provenance  of  these  four  epistles 
remains  so  unsettled  that  we  scarcely 
know  what  environment  to  appeal  to ; 
and  Reicke  explains  of  Jude  that  "the 
actual  place  of  origin  does  not  greatly 

The  commentary  element  would 
serve  far  better  if  larger  scope  had 
been  permitted,  especially  for  a  non- 
technical reader.  One  misses  an  ade- 
quate discussion  of  the  theological 
messages  of  these  epistolary  homilies. 
The  background  of  docetic  and  gnos- 
tic thought  deserves  primary  atten- 
tion. The  issue  of  "persecution"  is 
not  adequately  weighed,  even  for  an 
abbreviated  report.  If  such  factors 
were  fully  considered,  it  would  be- 
come impossible  to  maintain  the  ultra- 
conservative  position  that  all  the  New 
Testament  documents  were  written 
before  A.D.  100,  and  that  First  Peter 
appeared  before  A.D.  64.  The  view 
that  Second  Peter  and  Jude  were 
about  A.D.  90  derived  from  a  com- 
mon oral  source  does  not  adequately 
account  for  the  extensive  and  close 
literary  kinship  between  them  (Cf. 
Moffatt,  Introduction,  pp.  348-352). 
Completely  disregarded  is  the  new 
question  thus  raised :  how  shall  we 
account  for  the  origin  of  that  earlier 
"oral  source" — when,  where,  why, 
what  circumstances  called  it  forth,  and 
why  did  it  again  become  useful  in  two 
settings  about  A.D.  90?  This  is  one 
of  the  elements  in  the  highly  con- 
jectual  reconstruction  of  the  environ- 
ment of  these  four  epistles.  It  should 
have  been  reported  also  that  the  new 
Bodmer  Papyrus  (No.  72),  written 
in  the  third  century,  is  now  (since 
1959)  our  earliest  witness  to  the  text 
of  Jude  and  First  and  Second  Peter. 
—Kenneth  W.   Clark. 

July  19-30,  1965 

Three  clinics,  running  concurrently,  will  be  conducted  at  the 
Duke  Divinity  School,  July  19-30.  These  are  designed  for 
B.D.  graduates  who  are  willing  to  participate  in  two  weeks  of 
intensive  training.  A  minister  may  enroll  in  only  one  clinic. 
Registration  is  open  to  ministers  of  all  denominations.  No  aca- 
demic credit  is  given. 

PREACHING:  The  clinic  will  concern  itself  mainly  with  prin- 
ciples of  sermon  construction  and  delivery, 
giving  ample  opportunity  for  the  participants 
to  preach  for  critique.  Matters  of  common  con- 
cern for  preachers  will  be  discussed  in  plenary 
sessions.    (Dr.  Thor  Hall,  Director) 


The  clinic  in  Pastoral  Care  has  as  its  focus  the 
Christian  faith  and  its  expression  of  and  min- 
istry to  selfhood.  Through  lectures,  group  dis- 
cussions, and  hospital  visitation  experiences, 
explorations  are  made  of  the  meaning  of  self- 
hood, the  self  in  crisis,  and  the  ministry  to 
those  caught  in  the  crisis  of  illness.  (Dr. 
Richard  A.  Goodling,  Director) 


The  Rural  Church  Clinic  will  consist  of  inten- 
sive training,  study,  and  planning  in  the  area 
of  the  church's  responsibilities  in  the  town  and 
country  community,  giving  particular  emphasis 
to  the  development  of  an  indigenous  leadership. 
(Dr.  M.  Wilson  Nesbitt,  Director) 

The  guest  lecturer,  who  will  give  a  series  of  four  lectures  during 
the  second  week  of  the  program  for  all  three  clinics,  is  Dr. 
Creighton  Lacy,  Professor  of  World  Christianity  in  The 
Divinity  School  and  author  of  a  book  published  this  winter, 
The  Conscience  of  India. 

For  full  information  write  to :  Summer  Clinics,  Duke  Divinity 
School,  Box  4814,  Duke  Station,  Durham,  North  Carolina, 

Costs:  Registration  Fee  $10.00;  Room,  Board,  and  Travel. 
Methodist  Ministers  in  North  Carolina  may  inquire  about 
special  grants  provided  by  the  Rural  Church  Department  of 
the  Duke  Endowment  or  the  Board  of  Hospitals  and  Homes  of 
the  Annual  Conference  to  cover  costs. 



i4i/*K?W  ill' 


A  Sacristy  Prayer 

O  Lord  God,  dear  Father  in  heaven,  I  am  indeed  unworthy  of  the 
office  and  ministry  in  which  I  am  to  make  known  Thy  glory  and  nur- 
ture and  to  serve  this  congregation.  But  since  Thou  has  appointed  me 
to  be  a  pastor  and  teacher,  and  the  people  are  in  need  of  the  teachings 
and  the  instructions,  O  be  Thou  my  helper  and  let  Thy  holy  angels 
attend  me.  Then  if  Thou  art  pleased  to  accomplish  anything  through 
me,  to  Thy  glory  and  not  to  mine  or  to  the  praise  of  men,  grant  me, 
out  of  Thy  pure  grace  and  mercy,  a  right  understanding  of  Thy  Word 
and  that  I  may,  also,  diligently  perform  it.  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  Son 
of  the  living  God,  Thou  Shepherd  and  Bishop  of  our  souls,  send  Thy 
Holy  Spirit  that  He  may  work  with  me,  yea,  that  He  may  work  in  me 
to  will  and  to  do  through  Thy  divine  strength  according  to  Thy  good 
pleasure.  Amen. 

— Martin  Luther 



Volume  30  Autumn  1965  Number  3 


A  Sacristy  Prayer,  by  Martin  Luther Inside  Cover 

The  Substance  and  Changing  Forms  of  the  Ministry 163 

by  Robert  E.  Cushman 

John  Carlisle  Kilgo  as  a  Christian  Educator 171 

by  Paul  N.  Garber 

Religion  and  the  Department  of  Religion  at  Duke 181 

by  Thomas  A.  Langjord 

Religion  on  a  State  College  Campus 191 

by  Maurice  Ritchie 

To  Have  and  Have  Not,  by  Hubert  T.  Davis 201 

Focus  on  Faculty,  by  Daniel  M.  Schores,  Jr 203 

Looks  at  Books 205 

{including  Preaching  to  be  Understood  by  James  T.   Cl eland, 
and  Christianity  Amid  Rising  Men  and  Nations) 

Published  three  times  a  year   (Winter,  Spring,  Autumn) 

by  The  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University 

in  continuation  of  The  Duke  Divinitv  School  Bulletin 

Postage  paid  at  Durham,  North  Carolina 

The  Substance  and  Changing 
Forms  of  the  Ministry 

Robert  E.  Cushman 


The  ministry  is  the  same,  yesterday,  today,  and  forever.  It  is  so 
because  Jesus  Christ  is  the  same  yesterday,  today,  and  forever.  Jesus 
Christ  is  known  to  us  in  and  through  his  ministry.  His  ministry  is 
the  sole  justification  of  our  ministry.  There  is  no  other.  But  the  shape 
of  our  ministry  may  and  does  change.  Indeed,  it  must  change.  We 
may  well  be  stumbling  blocks,  possibly  even  enemies  of  Christ's 
ministry,  when  we  keep  trying  to  discharge  the  ministry  in  some  age- 
encrusted  form  moulded  by  unchallenged  precedent.  For  the  ministry 
is  both  a  calling  and  a  task,  and  how  it  is  discharged  is  a  resultant  of 
two  things :  what  the  ministry  is  in  itself  (that  is,  the  calling)  and  how 
the  shape  of  things  in  the  world  governs  the  mode  of  its  fulfillment. 
That  is  the  task,  and  in  history  it  keeps  changing. 

First  of  all,  however,  we  must  understand  that  the  ministry  to 
which  we  are  conscious  of  call  and  toward  which  today  we  are  looking 
with  new  earnestness  will  be  an  authentic  ministry  in  so  far  as  it 
recapitulates  Christ's  ministry.  It  is,  of  course,  in  this  sense  that  I 
mean  Christ's  ministry  is  the  only  ministry  we  have  and  that,  in 
point  of  fact,  there  is  really  no  other. 

The  central  aim  of  theological  education  is  to  clarify  the  nature  of 
this  ministry,  that  we  may  one  and  all  be  grasped  by  it  and  galvanized 
for  its  fulfillment  in  us.  Each  must  discover  for  himself — and  then 
keep  on  rediscovering — what  St.  Paul  meant  by  "this  treasure  we  have 
in  earthen  vessels."  The  treasure  surely  includes  "this  ministry."  It 
is  ours  not  so  much  to  possess  as  to  discharge,  and  not  so  much  to 
discharge  as  to  be  possessed  and  controlled  by. 

We  must  surely  also  learn  to  understand  St.  Paul's  meaning  when 
he  called  this  surrender  of  our  existence  "the  ministry  of  reconcilia- 
tion" (II  Cor.  5  :18).  If  so,  it  presupposes,  of  course,  that  reconcilers, 
first   of   all,   are   reconciled.     In   the    New   Testament   that    means, 

The  address  given  at  the  opening  Divinity  School  Convocation,  September  23, 


reconciled  to  God  and  also  to  our  neighbor.  What  reconciliation  means 
with  reference  to  both  God  and  the  neighbors  keeps  needing  to  be  re- 
understood  and  reappropriated. 

However,  for  our  purposes  here  it  suffices  to  say  that,  upon 
whom  it  falls  to  be  reconciled,  there  comes  also  the  calling  to  be 
reconciler.  None  of  the  reconciled  is  excepted.  None  is  exempted 
from  service.  This  is  the  perennial  truth  in  the  Reformation  watch- 
word, "the  priesthood  of  all  believers."  All  who  are  receivers  of  grace 
and  know  forgiveness  are  also  mediators  of  grace  and  forgiveness. 

It  is  a  fearful  reminder  of  Jesus  that  they  shall  be  "known  by  their 
fruits."  The  American  savage  was  wont  to  count  his  scalps.  The 
Gospel  preacher  of  the  same  age  might  not  scruple  to  count  the  "souls" 
won  under  his  charge.  Too  often,  the  best  we  dare  today  is  to  count 
the  members  on  our  rolls !  Positivism  has  perhaps  convinced  us  that 
souls  are  invisible  magnitudes,  hardly  capable  of  numeration !  But, 
somehow  or  other,  the  fruits  are  to  be  known  if,  indeed,  as  our  Lord 
warned,  we  are  to  be  known  by  our  fruits.  And  this  being  known 
is  not  limited  to  professionals ;  it  applies  to  all  the  reconciled  equally, 
all  of  whom,  equally,  receive  "the  ministry  of  reconciliation." 

When  St.  Paul  said  God  reconciled  us  to  himself  through  Christ 
"and  gave  us  the  ministry  of  reconciliation,"  he  was  not  referring  to 
professionals,  to  a  class  of  Christians,  or  to  an  order  of  clerics.  Pri- 
marily, at  least,  he  was  referring  to  all  who,  through  Christ,  had  been 
reconciled  to  God,  that  is,  all  those  who  know  God,  not  as  Judge  but  as 
Father,  not  as  condemned  but  as  accepted,  and  not  as  despairing  but 
as  full  of  hope,  and  not  as  aimless  but  as  charged  with  a  divine  voca- 

This  utterly  new  vocation  is  given  to  all  believers,  according  to 
Paul.  It  charges  life  with  dynamic  for  a  superhuman  task.  It  pene- 
trates human  life  with  a  transcendent  purpose,  and  thus  breaks 
through  the  "eternal  recurrence"  of  the  ancient  view  of  history.  In 
so  far  as  Christian  believers  were  made  partners  with  Christ  in  the 
ministry  of  reconciliation,  history  acquired  direction  and  meaning.  It 
was  transfigured  by  an  end  and  purpose,  never  to  be  exhausted  in 
history  and  only  to  be  fulfilled  beyond  history. 

Nevertheless,  history  was  transfigured.  The  Incarnation,  the  min- 
istry of  Jesus  Christ,  invaded  the  circular  plane  of  history  and  conferred 
meaning  and  purpose  upon  it,  first  in  Christ  himself,  then  through 
those  to  whom  was  given  and  who  received  the  ministry  of  reconcilia- 
tion.   In  and  through  this  conjoint  ministry,  that  of  Jesus  Christ  and 


that  of  the  reconciled,  the  Eschaton  replaced  the  tedium,  the  eternal 
recurrence  of  goalless  history.  Therewith,  history  itself  became  end- 
directed  as  well  as  end-controlled.  The  homelessness  of  man  in  the 
world  was  relieved  by  deathless  partnership  with  the  Eternal.  It  had 
been  inaugurated  in  Time  by  this  ministry. 


These  are  some  of  the  things  that  may  be  discovered  by  those  who 
will  probe  the  meaning  of  "this  ministry."  Christ's  ministry  created 
and  still  creates  a  telos  for  history  and,  thus,  bestows  meaning  upon  it. 
The  ministry  persists  today.  It  is  still  given.  It  may  be  received.  If 
it  is  received,  then  its  nature  and  essence  are  also  given.  That  essence 
is  Jesus  Christ,  known  in  his  ministry.  But  its  mode  of  discharge,  the 
manner  of  its  fulfillment,  is  not  the  same  yesterday,  today,  and  forever. 
Our  problem  today,  indeed  for  centuries  past,  is  that  ministry  has 
been  tied  to  stereotyped  forms  and  modes. 

How  long  shall  we  describe  the  hardening  of  tradition?  It  would 
take  long.  For  one  thing,  ministry  has  come  to  mean  a  dichotomy 
among  Christians,  that  between  reconciled  and  reconcilers  there  are 
the  "clergy"  and  there  are  the  "laity" — the  priesthood  and  the  faithful. 
Between  them  a  functional  diversity  long  since  became  a  difference  in 
kind.  It  is  this  difference  in  kind  between  clergy  and  laity  which  is  a 
chief,  perhaps  the  chief,  issue  to  be  faced  by  the  ecumenical  movement 
of  the  next  half-century. 

The  difference  in  kind  is  closely  associated  with  the  cultus,  with 
Christian  worship — the  preaching  of  the  Word  as  well  as  the  celebra- 
tion and  administration  of  the  sacraments.  With  whom,  with  what 
order  of  believers,  does  either  prerogative  or  authority  lie  in  these 
matters?  The  question  is  immensely  complicated.  Experience  proves 
that  the  question  is  baffling  and  answers  conflicting. 

Today  I  am  interested  in  a  particular  bondage  to  tradition  indige- 
nous to  Protestantism  and  very  much  with  us.  In  Protestantism  the 
shape  of  the  ministry  was  early  impoverished  by  a  narrowing  of  the 
function  of  the  ministry.  The  minister  became  preacher  and  exhorter. 
In  American  evangelical  Protestantism  from  the  eighteenth  century 
onwards,  the  minister  of  Christ  became  the  "preacher."  He  is  still 
"the  preacher"  in  common  American  parlance.  Indeed,  so  peremptory 
and  controlling  is  the  title  that  it  not  only  largely  constitutes  the  image 
but,  in  great  measure,  it  determines  the  role  and  function  of  the 


American  Protestant  minister.  The  prevailing  dichotomy  is  "preach- 
ers" and  laity,  or  the  pulpit  and  the  pew.  It  is  this  narrowing  and,  I 
think,  impoverishment  of  the  glorious  ministry  by  the  tyranny  of  the 
preacher-concept  that  deserves  scrutiny  and  candid  re-evaluation  in  our 
time  and  place. 


The  Reformation  gave  the  Bible,  the  opened  Bible,  back  to 
Christendom.  That  has  proved  to  be  a  revolution  in  Christianity  and, 
indeed,  the  basis  of  recurring  ecclesiastical  and  theological  change.  In 
light  of  this  experience  and  history  it  is  not  strange  perhaps  that  some 
Catholic  conservatives  view  with  dismay  all  those  declarations  and 
actions  of  the  Second  Vatican  Council  which  enlarge  the  use  of  the 
Scripture  among  the  faithful.  To  the  conservatives  it  is  cause  for  grave 
misgivings  and  concern. 

With  the  Reformation,  however,  already  in  the  sixteenth  century, 
the  appeal  of  Scripture  against  ecclesiastical  tradition  enthroned  the 
principle  sola  Scriptura,  and  one  consequence  was  a  new  and  control- 
ling conception  of  the  ministry.  The  Reformation  did  not,  however, 
dethrone  professionalism  in  the  ministry  despite  its  stress  upon  "the 
priesthood  of  all  believers."  It  altered  the  role  and  function  of  the 
ministry.  The  shape  was  changed.  The  Bible  was  opened.  The  minis- 
try became  the  ministry  of  the  Word,  and  its  vehicle  was  preaching. 
Not  that  preaching  was  unknown  before,  rather,  it  now  became  the 
chief  instrumentality  of  ministry — its  presiding  function — and  the  min- 
ister was  destined  to  become  primarily  preacher. 

In  the  first  two  centuries  of  reformed  Christianity  the  preacher  was 
also,  and  with  remarkable  frequency,  a  learned  and  accomplished 
scholar.  Often  his  Biblical  knowledge,  classical  learning,  and  theologi- 
cal competence  were  extraordinary.  His  command  of  Biblical  as  well 
as  classical  languages  was  as  astonishing  as  it  was  widespread.  The 
seventeenth  century  produced  theological  erudition  among  clergy  on  a 
scale  and  measure  never  before  nor  since  approximated.  In  that 
century,  it  seems,  the  Protestant  ministry  rose  with  a  great  impulse  to 
accept  and  make  the  most  of  its  new  challenge  and  role  as  ministers 
of  the  sacred  mysteries  which  had  lately  been  opened. 

It  was  appropriate  that  in  the  Reformed  churches  the  minister 
became  the  "teaching  elder."  The  neglected  deposit  of  divine  truth, 
obscured  by  long  neglect,  awaited  probing,  clarification,  and  enuncia- 
tion.   It  required  communication  to  men  not  a  little  eager  for  larger 


comprehension  of  the  Sacred  Word.  The  Word  was  the  way  and 
surety  of  salvation :  "Break,  thou,  the  bread  of  life,  dear  Lord,  to  me" 
was  no  idle  petition. 

In  the  eighteenth  century  men  still  thirsted  for  the  Sacred  Word. 
On  horseback  and  on  foot  they  sought  out  Whitefield  in  Connecticut 
or  Wesley  at  Bristol  with  the  kind  of  eagerness  and  even  hectic  effort 
that,  today,  we  Americans  reserve  for  Saturday  afternoon  football 
games  in  October. 

In  the  early  nineteenth  century  in  America,  probably  the  greatest 
public  phenomenon  was  the  Camp  Meeting  on  the  frontier  or  in 
more  settled  coastal  areas.  Here  the  Word  of  God  was  opened  for 
men's  eternal  comfort.  The  key  person  was  the  preacher.  He  need 
not  be  a  scholar.  He  had,  however,  to  be  possessed  himself  of  the 
rudiments  of  the  faith,  not  in  the  fine  articulations  of  doctrinal 
theology,  but  in  the  bones  and  sinews  of  his  own  personal  experience. 

He  knew  his  Bible  after  a  fashion.  He  was  afire.  He  was  eloquent 
if  not  always  grammatical.  He  was  the  preacher,  and  through  his 
words  the  Word  of  God  got  lodgement  in  the  souls  of  hearers,  often 
with  both  convulsive  and  transforming  power.  The  place  of  worship 
was  an  open  amphitheater  of  trees.  The  vaulted  heavens  were  the 
dome  of  nature's  vast  cathedral,  in  which  the  sacrament  of  the  Word 
was  alone  celebrated  in  almost  complete  isolation  from  every  device, 
appointment,  or  formality  of  traditional  Christian  worship. 

There  were  three  visible  realities  in  this  scene :  the  Bible,  the 
preacher,  and  the  people.  Invisible,  but  no  less  present,  were  the  Word 
of  God  and  the  Spirit  that  confirmed  its  truth  to  the  hearts  and  minds 
of  the  contrite.  It  is  this  scene,  with  its  visible  and  invisible  realities, 
which  once  controlled  and  in  great  measure  still  controls  the  concep- 
tion of  church  and  ministry  in  American  evangelical  Protestantism. 
Popular  Protestant  ecclesiology  even  today  requires  hardly  more 
visible  and  invisible  components  than  these :  the  Bible,  the  preacher, 
and  the  people,  and  invisibly  present — if  indeed  there  is  so  much 
Christian  understanding — the  Word  of  God  and  the  Holy  Spirit.  As 
for  the  doctrine  of  the  ministry,  so  powerful  even  yet  is  this  nineteenth- 
century  image  that  it  still — despite  all  the  overlay  of  accumulated 
twentieth-century  functions — is  pretty  much  simply  the  preacher. 


My  question  is :  when  will  American  evangelical  Protestantism 
become  candid  enough  openly  to  acknowledge  an  anachronism  ?  When 


will  American  Protestantism  undertake  a  critical  up-dating  both  of  its 
frontier  ecclesiology  and  of  its  traditional  and  extemporary  notion  of 
the  ministry?  I  am  convinced  that,  because  it  has  failed  to  do  so, 
replacements  for  ministerial  ranks  are  ominously  thinning.  In  part, 
the  heart  of  the  problem  is  that  the  form  and  shape  of  the  ministry  has 
been  stereotyped  by  the  nineteenth-century  role  and  context  of  the 
ministry.  The  form  has  become  "sacred"  rather  than  the  substance. 
The  substance,  which  is  unchanging,  has  been  obstructed  and  obscured 
by  roles  and  functions  that  are  transient.  The  relative  has  been  abso- 

This  is  the  ancient  temptation  of  the  church  in  all  ages  respecting 
its  ministry.  It  was  so  when  a  sacerdotal  priesthood,  as  function,  was 
rendered  identical  with  Christ's  ministry  in  its  substance.  No  histori- 
cally conditioned  function  or  functions  can  exhaust  the  substance  of 
Christ's  ministry  entrusted  to  us.  This  means  that  of  no  one  or  more 
of  them  can  it  be  claimed  they  merit  the  dignity  of  identity.  Thus 
none  of  them  is  sacrosanct.  They  are,  one  and  all,  more  or  less 
adequate  vehicles  of  the  Word  of  God  to  men.  And  the  latter  is  the 
ministry  of  Jesus  Christ. 

Such  a  word  as  this  to  you  who  enter  the  Divinity  School  or 
continue  your  studies  in  it  ought  not  to  end  without  a  definite  sug- 
gestion. It  is  a  suggestion  I  shall  have  to  enlarge  upon,  perhaps  at  a 
subsequent  Convocation.  It  is  this :  in  our  time,  place,  and  culture  the 
shape  of  the  ministry  needs  to  be  more  nearly  that  of  teacher  than  of 
preacher.  There  will  always  be  the  time  and  place  of  proclamation. 
The  pulpit  must  not  be  abandoned  but  properly  filled.  But  the  pulpit 
in  Protestantism  has  become  well-nigh  as  remote  from  the  people  as,  in 
medieval  Catholicism,  the  altar  was  remote,  forbidden,  and  forbidding 
to  them. 

The  reasons  for  this  are  wide-ranging,  intricate,  and  many-sided. 
But  this  which  I  believe  to  be  true  means  that,  in  our  time  and  situa- 
tion, the  pulpit  and  the  preaching  role  may  be  inadequate  and  even 
faltering  vehicles  of  the  ministry  of  the  Word  of  God.  At  the  very 
least,  the  pulpit  must  become  far  less  the  place  of  declamation  and  far 
more  the  place  of  teaching  and  vision. 

You  may  one  day  become  a  great  preacher.  I  hope  you  will.  But 
I  express  the  view,  which  is  also  a  warning,  that  the  great  preacher 
of  tomorrow  will  not  be  a  stereotype  of  the  great  preachers  of  yester- 
day. No  overlay  of  unction  or  native  or  acquired  eloquence,  aping  the 
past,  will  assure  you  of  a  resonant  audience  tomorrow.    Nineteenth- 


century  eloquence  presupposed,  perhaps  correctly,  more  from  its 
audience  in  understanding  and  vital  concern  than  a  twentieth-century 
congregation  can  ordinarily  muster.  Modern  man  is  de-moralized, 
proportionately  ignorant,  doubly  sophisticated,  and  surfeited  with 
panaceas.  He  is  at  once  spiritually  homeless  and  remarkably  at  home 
in  the  world.  Above  all,  he  does  not  know  presently  whether  there  is 
need  to  look  seriously  for  a  transcendent  reference  for  life  beyond  its 
given  exasperations  and,  on  the  whole,  its  sufficient  joys. 

When  you  enter  the  pulpit,  it  is  to  this  man  you  speak  despite  his 
membership  cards.  There  is  distance  between  you.  It  is  not  all  of  your 
making.  But  the  pulpit  is  almost  this  man's  spiritual  antipodes,  and 
you  are  in  it !  How  will  you  diminish  the  distance  and  overleap  the 
chasm?  When  you  declaim  and  exhort,  it  is  not  so  much  that  your 
words  go  over  his  head  or  pass  him  by  as  that  some  words  just  don't 
reach  him.  Sometimes  the  difference  of  a  whole  universe  of  purpose, 
interest,  or  discourse  lies  between  you.  You  may  well  be  answering 
questions  he  is  not  asking  any  more,  or  has  not  yet  thought  to  ask. 
And  even  if  your  answers  awake  glimmers  of  comprehension  of  the 
importance  of  questions  for  which  they  are  the  answers,  still  they  are 
pulpit  questions  and  answers  that  presume  an  authority  which  tends 
to  make  you  curiously  other  and  apart. 

In  the  pulpit  and  out  of  it,  in  every  possible  context,  in  all  areas 
of  your  pastoral  service  and  work,  your  role  today  is  more  nearly 
teacher  and  confessor  than  pulpit  declaimer.  You  will  teach  by  listen- 
ing, by  asking  the  right  questions,  by  throwing  others  back  more  than 
by  declaration.  You  will  put  more  trust  in  public  and  private  prayer 
than  in  high-styled  eloquence.  But  if  these  things  are  so,  then  you  also 
have  a  great  deal  to  learn  beforehand,  and  all  the  time,  about  the  real 
substance  of  your  ministry.  You  have  to  know  above  all  else  what  it  is 
that  constitutes  the  ministry  of  Jesus  Christ,  who  he  is,  and  how  and  in 
what  ways,  as  his  successor,  you  are  related  to  him.  I  suggest  that  this 
is  an  enormous  task,  and  presupposing  the  enlightening  assistance  of 
the  Holy  Spirit,  we  are,  in  this  place,  especially  charged  to  get  at  it.  I 
welcome  you  to  the  task  today,  and  wish  for  you  very  rich  fruitions 
tomorrow,  next  year,  and  in  all  the  years  ahead. 

Calendar  of  Public  Lectures 

Eleven  o'clock  Assembly  in  York  Chapel 

December  8— LIBRARY  LECTURE,  Dr.  Elizabeth  Sewell, 
author,  Salisbury,  England. 

January  5 — Dr.  G.  Paul  Butler,  editor  of  Best  Sermons. 

February  9— MISSION  LECTURE,  Mrs.  Porter  Brown, 
Executive  Secretary,  Methodist  Board  of  Missions. 

February    16—  Prof.   Alexander  A.   DiLella,   O.F.M.,   Holy 
Name  College,  Washington,  D.C. 

March  16 — Dr.  Alan  F.  Geyer,  Executive  Secretary,  Council 
for  Social  Action,  United  Church  of  Christ. 

April  20 — Mr.  William  Stringfellow,  Counsellor  at  Law,  New 
York  City. 

May  11— FACULTY  LECTURE,  Prof.  Frank  Baker. 

John  Carlisle  Kilgo  as  a 
Christian  Educator 

Paul  N.  Garber 
Bishop  of  the  Raleigh  Area,  The  Methodist  Church 

Bishop  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  was  born  in  a  Methodist  parsonage, 
and  it  was  in  the  home  of  his  good  parents  that  he  received  the  first 
principles  of  Christian  education.  His  father,  James  Tillman  Kilgo, 
represented  the  highest  type  of  Methodist  circuit  rider  of  his  day,  and 
although  he  had  been  denied  educational  advantages  he  was  deter- 
mined to  educate  his  own  children.  "I  will  live  on  bread  and  water 
and  wear  patched  clothes,"  he  declared,  "before  I  will  throw  my 
children  on  society  uneducated."  In  order  to  do  this  he  economized 
in  every  way.  Although  his  annual  salary  never  exceeded  seven 
hundred  dollars,  yet  all  his  children  were  able  to  secure  some  college 

Although  the  greater  part  of  his  life  was  spent  in  the  work  of 
Christian  education,  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  never  received  what  could 
be  considered  a  regular  college  education.  Because  of  the  weakness  of 
his  eyes  he  was  forced  to  leave  Wofford  College  at  the  end  of  his 
sophomore  year.  His  only  other  formal  education  was  a  course  of 
private  study  under  Professor  Henry  N.  Snyder,  later  president  of 
Wofford  College.  Although  his  college  training  was  obtained  in  an 
unusual  manner,  Kilgo  continued  his  education  throughout  life  by 
copious  reading.  He  became  a  studious  man  and  by  his  own  efforts 
he  was  able  to  remedy  the  loss  which  he  had  suffered  from  his  inter- 
rupted college  course. 

Upon  leaving  Wofford  College  Kilgo  followed  in  the  footsteps  of 
his  father  and  in  1882  joined  the  South  Carolina  Conference.  From 
1882  to  1888  Kilgo  served  as  pastor  and  made  such  a  unique  record  as 
a  young  preacher  that  he  was  called  upon  by  his  conference,  in  1888, 
to  become  the  financial  agent  of  Wofford  College.  Although  this  ap- 
pointment came  as  a  surprise  to  Kilgo,  he  entered  immediately  with 
vigor  into  his  new  work.   He  became  the  spokesman  of  the  college  at 

An  address  delivered  at  the  dedication  of  the  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  Porch  of  the 
Divinity  School,  May  12,  1965. 


official  Methodist  gatherings  in  South  Carolina.  He  not  only  ex- 
plained the  needs  of  Wofford  College  to  the  various  district  confer- 
ences, but  visited  also  the  local  churches  and  proclaimed  the  cause  of 
Christian  education.  His  most  immediate  task  was  the  raising  of  funds 
for  Wofford  College,  and  his  labors  in  this  field  had  the  effect  of 
making  it  possible  for  the  faculty  members  of  Wofford  College  to 
receive  their  entire  salaries  for  the  first  time  since  1865.  While  serving 
as  financial  agent  Kilgo  became  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  Wofford 
College  and  thereby  had  contacts  not  only  with  the  constituency  of 
the  college  but  also  with  student  life  on  the  campus. 

The  six  years  during  which  he  served  as  agent  of  Wofford  Col- 
lege proved  to  be  valuable  years  for  Kilgo,  for  during  that  period  he 
formed  many  of  his  basic  educational  ideals  .  .  .  views  which  he  later 
put  into  practice  as  president  of  Trinity  College.  He  came  to  the 
following  conclusions :  ( 1 )  That  a  great  college  could  not  be  built  in 
the  South  upon  popular  subscription,  because  as  he  contended,  the 
average  Southerner  could  not  visualize  the  large  amount  of  money 
needed  for  higher  education.  (2)  Kilgo  came  to  realize  that  the 
Southern  colleges  would  always  be  handicapped  if  the  weakness  of 
preparatory  education  and  low  standards  of  higher  education  con- 
tinued. (3)  He  came  to  the  conclusion  that  the  Methodists  at  the  close 
of  the  nineteenth  century  were  not  aware  of  their  educational  duty.  He 
deplored  the  lukewarmness  of  the  church  toward  higher  education. 
(4)  He  came  to  formulate  a  basic  educational  concept,  namely,  that 
true  higher  education  could  only  be  secured  at  institutions  conducted 
under  Christian  auspices.  He  declared  that  mental  culture  at  the 
expense  of  spiritual  development  would  ever  be  at  a  discount. 

At  the  time  when  Kilgo  was  becoming  prominent  as  a  Methodist 
educational  leader  in  South  Carolina,  the  presidency  of  Trinity  College 
at  Durham,  North  Carolina,  became  vacant,  and  attention  was  given  to 
Kilgo  as  a  good  prospect  for  the  presidency.  A  special  committee  of 
the  Board  of  Trustees  interviewed  Kilgo  at  Wofford  College,  and 
upon  the  recommendation  of  this  committee,  the  Board  of  Trustees  on 
July  31,  1894  elected  Kilgo  as  president  of  Trinity  College.  Sixteen 
days  after  his  election  Kilgo  reached  Durham  and  immediately  as- 
sumed the  supervision  of  the  affairs  of  Trinity  College.  From  that 
date  until  July  1,  1910  Kilgo  was  president  of  Trinity  College,  and 
during  that  period  the  life  of  the  institution  and  the  activities  of  the 
president  were  so  closely  interwoven  that  Trinity  and  Kilgo  became 
almost  synonymous  terms. 


Trinity  College,  to  which  Kilgo  came  as  president  in  1894,  was 
founded  in  1838  by  Quakers  and  Methodists  in  Randolph  County  who 
desired  a  school  to  provide  for  their  local  educational  needs.  The 
name  first  given  to  this  school  was  Union  Institute  but  was  changed  in 
1851  to  Normal  College.  In  1858  the  North  Carolina  Conference  was 
asked  to  assume  control  of  Normal  College,  and  accordingly  in  1859 
a  new  charter  was  secured  and  the  name  of  the  institution  was  changed 
to  Trinity  College.  Under  the  leadership  of  Braxton  Craven,  and  with 
the  patronage  of  the  Methodists,  the  college  had  a  fair  degree  of 
prosperity  until  the  outbreak  of  the  War  Between  the  States  when 
this  institution,  like  other  Southern  colleges,  felt  the  hard  effects  of  war 
and  reconstruction.  In  1887  John  Franklin  Crowell  became  the 
president  of  Trinity  College,  and  perhaps  the  greatest  contribution 
which  he  made  to  Trinity  College  was  to  remove  it  from  the  small  town 
of  Trinity  to  Durham.  This  was  accomplished  by  September,  1892, 
through  the  generous  financial  assistance  of  two  Methodist  laymen  of 
Durham,  Washington  Duke  and  Julian  S.  Carr. 

Notwithstanding  the  advantage  to  the  college  of  its  removal  to 
Durham,  no  sooner  had  the  transfer  been  made  than  the  institution 
became  involved  in  a  number  of  embarrassing  difficulties.  The  major 
problem  was  financial  and  this  was  aggravated  by  the  panic  of  that 
period.  A  situation  soon  developed  until  there  was  a  feeling  among  the 
most  loyal  supporters  that  the  institution  might  have  to  close.  The 
college  seemed  also  to  be  losing  the  support  of  one  of  its  benefactors, 
Washington  Duke.  The  morale  of  Trinity  College  was  at  a  low  ebb 
when  Kilgo  assumed  the  presidency,  but  this  situation  did  not  dis- 
courage Kilgo  and  to  him,  therefore,  belongs  the  credit  of  the  rebuild- 
ing of  Trinity  College. 

When  Kilgo  became  president  of  Trinity  College,  the  endowment 
was  less  than  $25,000,  and  the  value  of  the  property  did  not  exceed 
$200,000.  For  sixteen  years  Kilgo  served  as  president  of  Trinity 
College,  and  when  he  retired  Trinity  College  had  the  largest  endow- 
ment of  any  Southern  college  and  had  assets  to  the  amount  of  one  and 
a  quarter  million  dollars.  The  story  is  familiar  to  all  Southern  Meth- 
odists of  how  Kilgo  inspired  Washington  Duke  and  his  sons  with  the 
vision  of  a  greater  Trinity  College.  From  1896  to  1910  Washington 
Duke  and  his  sons,  Benjamin  Newton  and  James  Buchanan,  made 
such  liberal  contributions  to  Trinity  College  that  in  contrast  with  most 
Southern  educational  institutions,  it  became  free  from  serious  financial 


problems.  In  1910  Kilgo  could  declare  that  Trinity  College  could 
obtain  all  funds  necessary  for  future  expansion. 

The  securing  of  a  large  endowment  for  Trinity  College  was  only 
one  phase  of  the  rebuilding  of  Trinity  College  under  Kilgo's  leader- 
ship. During  his  presidency  academic  standards  were  raised  beyond 
those  of  the  average  Southern  college  or  university,  and  Trinity  Col- 
lege by  1903  could  boast  of  a  modern  library  building  and  adequately 
equipped  laboratories.  Trinity  College  also  became  noted  for  an  out- 
standing faculty,  for  leadership  in  female  education  in  the  South,  for 
elevating  the  standards  of  legal  education,  for  scholarly  publications, 
for  interest  in  secondary  education,  for  opposition  to  professionalism 
in  inter-collegiate  athletics,  and  for  upholding  academic  freedom.  It 
is  interesting  to  note  that  when  the  Association  of  Colleges  and 
Preparatory  Schools  of  the  Southern  States  was  founded  for  the  pur- 
pose of  maintaining  high  educational  standards  in  the  South 
Trinity  College  was  the  only  institution  of  college  status  that  was  a 
charter  member.  Kilgo  proved  from  1894  to  1910  that  he  was  an  edu- 
cational executive  capable  of  rebuilding  Trinity  College  upon  modern 
and  firm  foundations. 

John  Carlisle  Kilgo  made  a  great  contribution  to  Christian  educa- 
tion by  bringing  material  resources  to  Trinity  College,  but  he  did 
even  a  greater  thing  for  Christian  education  by  holding  that  a  true 
Christian  educator  had  to  be  a  leader  of  the  people ;  that  he  had  to  be 
in  advance  of  popular  opinion.  Kilgo  refused  to  be  simply  the  spokes- 
man for  an  existing  order  of  things  but  instead  held  before  the  students 
and  constituency  of  Trinity  College  a  picture  of  what  should  be  in  a 
Christian  society. 

As  president  of  Trinity  College  Kilgo  championed  many  causes 
which  were  not  popular  seventy  years  ago,  but  which  today  are  ac- 
cepted by  the  majority  of  Southern  people.  Although  born  in  the 
South,  Kilgo  became  a  severe  critic  of  Southern  conservatism  and  he 
held  that  it  was  the  task  of  Southern  colleges  to  help  the  people  break 
from  the  conservatism  of  the  past.  During  his  administration  Kilgo 
repeatedly  announced  that  the  duty  of  Trinity  College  was  to  make 
public  opinion  rather  than  follow  it,  and  he  never  abandoned  his  pur- 
pose of  making  Trinity  College  an  institution  that  dared,  if  necessary, 
to  oppose  public  opinion.  In  Kilgo's  opinion  the  search  for  truth  was 
the  primary  task  of  an  educational  institution,  and  he  held  that  truth 
should  be  accepted  wherever  it  might  be  found.  Another  fundamental 
conception  believed  by  Kilgo  was  that  the  influence  of  an  educational 


institution  should  be  responsibly  related  in  an  active  way  to  all 
problems  of  society.  "It  is  not  believed  at  Trinity  College,"  he  as- 
serted, "that  the  place  of  a  college  is  apart  from  the  questions  of  trade, 
of  society,  of  politics  and  of  religion.  On  the  contrary  it  is  believed 
that  participation  in  those  affairs  is  a  distinct  duty  of  a  college." 
Kilgo  held  that  educational  institutions  should  not  allow  fear  of  adverse 
criticism  to  keep  them  from  taking  a  stand  on  controversial  problems. 
Kilgo  especially  resented  political  interference  in  Southern  colleges  and 
universities.  Although  he  was  born  in  1861  and  was  reared  in  South 
Carolina  during  the  reconstruction  period,  under  his  leadership 
Trinity  College  became  noted  for  the  championship  of  nationalism. 
According  to  Kilgo,  sectionalism  and  provincialism  were  two  primary 
curses  of  the  Southern  people.  He  severely  attacked  the  Southern 
political  leaders  who  made  use  of  the  sectional  issues,  and  he  demanded 
a  new  leadership  that  would  throw  aside  this  emotional  appeal.  Kilgo 
held  that  it  was  absurd  for  individuals  to  become  permanently  aligned 
with  any  one  political  party,  and  instead  championed  the  cause  of  the 
independent  voter.  It  was  Kilgo's  earnest  desire  to  create  a  spirit  at 
Trinity  College  that  would  counteract  the  prevailing  bitter  Southern 
partisanship.  From  the  chapel  platform  he  begged  the  students  not  to 
become  narrow  partisans.  Kilgo  took  a  pronounced  stand  in  favor 
of  the  industrial  development  of  the  South  and  at  a  time  when  the 
Southern  industrial  leaders  were  being  severely  assailed  Kilgo 
defended  them.  He  denounced  the  demagogues  who  were  taking 
advantage  of  Southern  industrial  development  to  arouse  class  hatred. 
Kilgo's  views  were  many  years  in  advance  of  Southern  thought  con- 
cerning the  Negro.  He  took  a  liberal  attitude  regarding  the  relation- 
ship of  the  two  races  in  the  South.  Trinity  College,  under  Kilgo's 
leadership,  became  noted  for  an  honest  attempt  to  solve  the  racial 
issue.  The  first  speech  ever  delivered  by  Booker  T.  Washington  on  the 
platform  of  a  white  Southern  educational  institution  was  made  at 
Trinity  College  under  the  invitation  of  Kilgo. 

It  was  fortunate  for  Kilgo  that  he  was  a  crusader  and  fighter,  for 
many  of  his  principles  were  in  advance  of  public  opinion  in  the  South 
and  ran  counter  to  existing  public  sentiment  in  North  Carolina.  In  the 
decade  following  1894  political  passions  were  strong  in  North  Caro- 
lina, and  crude  methods  were  used  to  dispose  of  an  unorthodox  leader. 
It  was  still  a  period  of  intense  sectionalism.  During  the  last  decade 
of  the  nineteenth  century  the  Negro  was  removed  from  political  life 
in  North  Carolina  and  that  made  very  delicate  any  discussion  of  the 


racial  issue.  Kilgo  championed  the  industrial  development  of  the 
Southern  states  at  a  time  when  opposition  to  large  industries  was  rife 
in  North  Carolina.  The  Old  North  State  in  1894  had  not  yet  accepted 
the  principle  of  academic  freedom.  It  was  heresy  to  hold  that  an  edu- 
cational institution  was  free  to  proclaim  truth  if  it  were  opposite  to  the 
prevailing  public  sentiment. 

Kilgo's  program  to  make  Trinity  College  a  progressive  and  free 
institution  where  academic  freedom  would  prevail  did  not  succeed 
without  a  struggle  on  Kilgo's  part.  During  the  entire  period  of  his 
presidency  he  was  compelled  to  fight  against  those  individuals  who 
would  deny  academic  freedom  to  an  educational  institution.  As  early 
as  1897  a  determined  effort  was  made  to  remove  Kilgo  from  the  presi- 
dency on  the  ground  that  as  president  of  Trinity  College  he  was 
expressing  views  that  were  contrary  to  the  public  opinion  of  the  state. 
His  main  opponent  asserted  that  no  college  could  teach  political,  social 
and  economic  views  that  were  counter  to  those  held  by  the  majority 
of  the  citizens.  Kilgo  held  that  such  a  policy  would  result  in  intel- 
lectual decay,  for  no  progress  could  be  made  if  professors  were  to  be 
tied  to  the  opinions  of  the  past,  many  of  which  were  proving  to  be 
false  in  the  face  of  new  investigations.  It  was  in  his  famous  speech 
of  defense  before  the  Board  of  Trustees  in  1897  that  Kilgo  proclaimed 
in  these  words  his  views  of  academic  freedom  at  Trinity  College  :  "By 
the  eternals,  she  shall  be  free.  No  political  power,  nor  any  other, 
shall  ever  chain  her,  but  over  and  above  everything  else  she  shall 
answer  to  God  and  obey  the  truth,  and  that  is  what  they  do  not  want." 

Kilgo  weathered  the  attack  upon  him  in  1897,  but  six  years  later 
in  1903  he  again  had  to  defend  academic  freedom  at  Trinity  College 
in  what  is  known  as  the  famous  Bassett  episode.  Professor  John  S. 
Bassett  in  a  discussion  in  the  South  Atlantic  Quarterly  of  the  Negro 
situation  in  the  South  made  certain  statements  which  were  contrary 
to  Southern  public  opinion  in  regard  to  the  racial  issue.  There  were 
individuals  in  North  Carolina  who  refused  to  accept  the  point  of  view 
presented  by  Professor  Bassett,  and  in  addition  they  were  determined 
to  deny  him  the  freedom  of  expressing  such  opinions,  and  if  neces- 
sary boycott  the  educational  institution  that  employed  him.  Those  of 
us  who  live  sixty  years  removed  from  the  Bassett  episode  have  a 
difficult  time  understanding  the  campaign  of  ridicule,  vilification  and 
vituperation  that  descended  upon  Trinity  College.  A  demand  arose  in 
the  press  for  the  removal  of  Bassett  from  the  faculty  of  Trinity  College, 
and  along  with  this  was  the  cry  that  Kilgo  retire  from  the  presidency 


of  the  college.  North  Carolinians  were  urged  to  boycott  Trinity  Col- 
lege unless  Bassett  were  removed. 

The  Bassett  episode  reached  such  large  proportions  that  the  Board 
of  Trustees  was  forced  to  meet  in  special  session  on  December  1,  1903 
in  order  to  face  this  matter.  Kilgo  appeared  before  the  Board  of 
Trustees  and  in  a  speech  of  more  than  one  hour  in  length,  in  what  has 
been  described  as  "unsurpassed  eloquence,"  he  presented  to  the 
Trustees  the  real  issue  of  academic  freedom  as  it  was  involved  in  the 
Bassett  episode.  Kilgo  declared  that  he  did  not  agree  with  all  of 
Bassett's  views,  but  he  pointed  out  that  the  problem  before  the  trustees 
was  not  to  pass  upon  the  action  of  an  individual,  but  to  settle  forever 
the  attitude  of  Trinity  College  toward  academic  freedom.  Kilgo 
admitted  that  the  college  might  lose  patronage  by  refusing  to  remove 
Bassett.  "But,  gentlemen,"  he  continued,  "if  the  worst  must  come  to 
the  worst,  I  have  no  hesitancy  in  saying  that  it  were  better  that  Trinity 
College  should  work  with  ten  students  than  it  should  repudiate  and 
violate  every  noble  principle  of  the  Christian  religion,  the  high  virtues 
of  this  commonwealth,  and  the  foundation  spirit  of  this  nation  .  .  .  Per- 
sonally I  should  deem  it  an  honor  to  teach  ten  men  who  love  truth  and 
believe  in  tolerance,  and  I  should  count  it  a  shame  to  teach  a  thousand 
who  believed  in  intolerance  and  regarded  intellectual  bondage  a  com- 
mendable virtue."  Again  he  declared:  "Personally,  I  should  prefer 
to  see  a  wild  hurricane  break  out  of  some  awful  fastness  and  sweep 
from  the  face  of  the  earth  every  rock  and  brick  and  piece  of  timber, 
than  to  see  Trinity  College  committed  to  the  policies  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion, and  the  note  of  liberty  be  forever  stricken  from  her  tongue."  He 
concluded  his  address  with  these  famous  words :  "Better  forgive  and 
die,  than  hate  and  live ;  better  be  tolerant  and  cease  to  be  than  to  be 
intolerant  in  luxurious  prosperity;  better  persuade  and  be  forgotten 
than  to  coerce  and  be  applauded."  Furthermore  Kilgo  was  willing  to 
stake  his  own  future  on  the  principles  enunciated  in  his  address  on 
academic  freedom.  His  relationship  with  Trinity  College  would  have 
ended  if  the  trustees  had  accepted  Bassett's  offer  of  resignation,  for 
while  he  was  delivering  his  plea  for  academic  freedom  Kilgo  had  in 
his  pocket  his  own  resignation,  ready  for  presentation  to  the  Board  of 
Trustees  in  case  of  an  adverse  decision  in  regard  to  Bassett. 

The  educational  world  will  never  forget  the  famous  decision  of 
the  Board  of  Trustees  in  the  Bassett  episode.  In  the  face  of  hostile 
public  opinion  the  trustees  not  only  refused  to  accept  the  proposed 
resignation  of  Bassett,  but  also  issued  the  historical  declaration  of 


academic  freedom  held  by  Trinity  College.  In  this  declaration  the 
trustees  declared  that  any  form  of  coercion  of  thought  and  private 
judgment  was  contrary  to  one  of  the  constitutional  aims  of  Trinity 
College,  which  was  to  cherish  a  sincere  spirit  of  tolerance.  The  trustees 
under  Kilgo's  leadership  aligned  themselves  with  the  forces  of 
academic  freedom.  Nobly  they  asserted:  "Great  as  is  our  hope  in  this 
college,  high  and  noble  as  are  the  services  which  under  God  we 
believe  it  is  fit  to  render,  it  were  better  that  Trinity  College  should 
suffer  than  that  it  should  enter  upon  a  policy  of  coercion  and  intoler- 

Great  academic  achievements  represent  the  work  of  many  individ- 
uals and  no  claim  is  made  that  academic  freedom  was  secured  at 
Trinity  College  by  the  singlehanded  activity  of  John  Carlisle  Kilgo. 
He  built  upon  the  foundations  laid  by  his  predecessors.  He  had  the 
assistance  of  a  great  faculty  and  noble  benefactors,  and  he  was  sup- 
ported by  a  liberal  Board  of  Trustees.  It  must,  however,  be  admitted 
that,  by  Kilgo's  determination  that  an  educational  institution  should 
guide  public  opinion  rather  than  be  moulded  by  it,  he  kept  alive  at 
Trinity  College  a  liberal  academic  spirit ;  and  when  the  Bassett  episode 
occurred  he  did  not  shirk  his  responsibility.  When  Kilgo  retired  as 
president  of  Trinity  College  in  1910,  he  left  behind  a  free  college  as  a 
monument  to  his  labors. 

The  contributions  of  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  to  Christian  education 
cannot  be  told  alone  by  the  rebuilding  of  Trinity  College  or  by  his  fight 
for  academic  freedom.  Kilgo  can  be  designated  as  a  Christian  educator 
because  he  actually  proclaimed  Christian  education.  His  definition  of 
Christian  education  was  "education  that  assumes  Christ's  estimate  of 
all  things,  and  seeks  to  develop  manhood  in  the  light  of  His  ideals, 
and  by  His  methods,  and  inculcates  His  truths  as  the  fundamental 
truths  of  personal  and  social  character."  Kilgo  asserted  that  Christian 
education  presented  the  only  true  conception  of  human  nature.  Since 
the  most  catholic  character  of  history  was  Christ,  Kilgo  contended 
that  the  broadest  education  was  that  based  upon  the  teachings  o\ 

Throughout  his  life  Kilgo  held  that  convictions  were  worth  fighting 
for,  and  in  the  field  of  Christian  education  he  made  no  exception  to 
this  rule.  He  felt  that  it  was  not  enough  merely  to  have  beliefs,  for 
he  contended  that  truth  would  never  win  unless  it  were  embodied  in  a 
dynamic  movement.  Kilgo  came  to  Trinity  College  feeling  that  he  had 
been  divinely  called  to  guide  the  destiny  of  a  college  that  stood  for  his 


theory  of  Christian  education.  His  conviction  on  this  point  was  so 
pronounced  that  he  literally  led  a  crusade  in  North  Carolina  in  behalf 
of  Christian  education.  He  visited  churches,  schools,  and  conferences 
explaining  the  merits  of  Christian  education.  He  delivered  his  famous 
address  on  Christian  education  in  almost  every  county  in  North 
Carolina.  In  1895  he  was  credited  with  speaking  during  the  year  to 
more  people  in  the  state  than  any  other  man.  Kilgo  not  only  gave 
to  the  state  a  logical  exposition  of  Christian  education,  but  in  doing 
this  he  aroused  the  Methodists  to  a  greater  enthusiasm  for  Christian 
education  and  a  larger  support  of  Trinity  College.  Then,  too,  Kilgo  in 
proclaiming  Christian  education  aided  the  development  of  the  public 
school  system  in  North  Carolina.  The  administration  of  Governor 
Charles  B.  Aycock  was  noted  for  the  building  of  public  schools  in 
North  Carolina,  but  it  is  doubtful  if  Aycock's  educational  program 
could  have  been  pressed  so  rapidly  had  it  not  been  for  the  fact  that  for 
six  years  prior  to  1901  Kilgo  had  been  preaching  the  cause  of  educa- 
tion in  practically  every  part  of  the  state. 

In  the  last  place,  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  was  a  Christian  educator  be- 
cause moral  and  religious  idealism  were  foremost  in  his  academic 
program.  Kilgo  did  not  believe  that  the  securing  of  an  adequate 
endowment  and  other  material  assets  completed  his  work  as  presi- 
dent of  Trinity  College;  nor  did  he  hail  the  raising  of  scholastic 
standards  or  the  victory  for  academic  freedom  as  his  greatest  contribu- 
tions. Kilgo  felt  that  it  was  his  perpetual  duty  to  keep  before  the 
student  body  the  challenge  of  moral  and  religious  idealism.  To  him, 
Christian  education  meant  a  positive  religious  program  on  the  campus. 

Through  his  chapel  talks  Kilgo  wielded  a  great  moral  and  religious 
influence  upon  the  students.  It  is  doubtful  if  any  man  ever  exerted 
a  more  wholesome  or  uplifting  influence  over  a  body  of  college 
students  than  did  Kilgo  in  his  talks  with  his  boys.  Kilgo  continued 
his  religious  and  moral  emphasis  in  the  classroom.  He  taught  only  a 
few  courses  but  students  never  forgot  the  messages  they  received 
through  his  instruction.  When  students  became  ill,  Kilgo  would  visit 
with  them  in  their  rooms  and  often  pray  with  them  as  if  he  were  their 
pastor.  He  never  allowed  a  member  of  the  senior  class  to  leave  college 
without  a  final  heart-to-heart  talk  with  him.  In  1901  Kilgo  could 
report  that  of  the  students  who  had  graduated  since  1894  all  but  five 
at  the  time  of  graduation  had  been  church  members. 

From  the  foregoing  facts  which  I  have  presented  I  believe  you  will 
agree  with  me  that  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  can  be  designated  as  a  great 


Christian  educator.  It  is,  therefore,  most  fitting  that  in  the  renovation 
building  program  of  Duke  University  the  name  of  John  Carlisle  Kilgo 
should  be  linked  with  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University.  The 
educational  principles  of  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  apply  not  only  to  the 
period  from  1894  to  1910,  but  in  my  estimation  they  are  basic  princi- 
ples of  education  in  any  generation.  I  conclude  by  listing  again 
the  educational  principles  which  were  sponsored  by  John  Carlisle 
Kilgo.  (1)  The  upholding  of  high  academic  standards.  (2)  The 
securing  of  adequate  financial  resources  for  the  college.  (3)  An  honest 
belief  in  academic  freedom.  (4)  Leadership  in  public  opinion  and  the 
refusal  to  adopt  a  spirit  of  intolerance  in  order  to  cater  to  the  changing 
waves  of  public  sentiment.  (5)  A  belief  that  Christian  education  is  an 
education  penetrated  with  the  spirit  of  Christianity,  in  which  the 
methods  employed  by  Christ  are  the  standards  of  pedagogy,  in  which 
reverence  for  God  underlies  all  search  for  truth.  (6)  The  upholding 
of  the  religious  and  moral  factors  in  higher  education  and  the  demand 
that  there  shall  be  a  union  of  the  forces  of  religion  and  education  in 
the  common  task  of  producing  a  noble  civilization.  It  is  my  hope  and 
prayer  that  these  sacred  principles  held  by  John  Carlisle  Kilgo  may 
always  be  a  vital  part  of  the  life  of  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  Uni- 

Religion  and  the  Department  of 
Religion  at  Duke 

Thomas  A.  Langford,  '54 
Chairman,  Department  of  Religion,  Duke  University 

The  role  of  a  department  of  religion  in  a  university  must  con- 
tinually be  reassessed.  In  an  effort  to  understand  some  of  the  problems 
and  explore  areas  of  promise  in  our  department  at  Duke,  I  would 
like  to  discuss  several  major  points.  The  issues  which  seem  to  stand 
out  most  prominently  and  merit  careful  evaluation  are  those  of  the 
relation  between  a  college  chaplain  and  a  teacher  of  religion,  the  re- 
quirement of  religion  at  Duke,  and  the  Protestant  heritage  of  our 
university  and  our  department. 

Teacher  and  Chaplain 

One  of  the  most  difficult  issues  to  keep  clear  in  regard  to  the  role 
of  religion  on  a  college  campus  is  the  relation  between  the  practice 
of  religion  and  the  teaching  of  it.  Is  the  teacher  of  religion  also  to  be 
understood  to  have  the  responsibilities  of  a  chaplain?  If  not,  what  is 
the  distinction?  To  clarify  the  discussion,  perhaps  we  should  begin 
by  contrasting  the  two  roles.  The  stance  of  the  minister  is  one  of 
worshipful  adoration  and  faithful  proclamation.  The  stance  of  the 
student  of  religion,  whether  teacher  or  pupil,  is  one  of  critical  assess- 
ment and  candid  evaluation. 

If  this  distinction  is  acknowledged,  the  role  of  the  teacher  of 
religion  is  clearly  different  from  that  of  the  campus  chaplain.  The 
chaplain  has  a  responsibility  to  reinforce  faith,  to  proclaim  its  meaning 
and  its  relevance,  and  to  lead  in  the  act  of  worship.  The  teacher  has  a 
responsibility  to  investigate  the  relation  of  religious  expression  to  its 
own  acknowledged  sources,  to  decipher  the  interrelatedness  of  religion 
and  culture  and  to  bring  a  mind  well-prepared  in  all  relevant  branches 
of  learning  to  bear  upon  the  nature  and  function  of  religion.  The 
chaplain  is  proclaimer,  and  at  times  apologist ;  the  teacher  is  investiga- 
tor and  interpreter. 

In  the  academic  study  of  religion  an  intellectual  approach  is  neces- 
sitated.  While  such  an  approach  does  not  exclude  or  attempt  to  hide 


the  basic  life  commitment,  it  does  mean  that  this  task  is  understood  to 
be  primarily  rational  and  critical  in  nature.  To  place  the  emphasis  in 
this  way  points  to  the  fundamental  distinction  between  the  academy 
(the  intellectual  study  of  religion)  and  the  chapel  (the  life  of  worship). 
As  members  of  the  academic  community,  the  faculty  of  the  department 
of  religion  is  a  part  of  the  university  and  shares  a  primary  obligation  to 
investigate,  interrogate,  evaluate  and  criticize  the  religious  phenom- 
enon in  its  variant  forms  and  in  its  multiple  interconnections  with 
the  cultural  context.  This  responsibility  is  an  intellectual  task  and 
it  must  be  kept  distinct,  even  if  it  cannot  be  completely  separated,  from 
the  priestly  and  prophetic  roles  of  the  minister. 

The  functional  distinction  I  am  making  is  a  matter  of  emphasis, 
but  the  correct  ordering  of  the  emphases  is  absolutely  essential  if  the 
members  of  the  department  of  religion  are  to  have  an  authentic  place 
in  the  university  as  an  educational  institution.  What  this  means,  stated 
baldly,  is  that  the  department  of  religion  is  not  an  evangelistic  arm 
of  the  church.  The  department  has  its  own  special  function  in  the 
over-all  economy  of  religious  responsibility  as  well  as  in  the  economy 
of  academic  responsibility. 

To  describe  the  roles  of  the  chaplain  and  the  teacher  in  this  sharply 
bifurcated  manner  is,  of  course,  to  overlook  a  primary  fact,  namely, 
that  multiple  commitments  often  inhere  in  one  person.  The  student 
of  religion  who  is  also  a  man  of  faith  cannot,  with  validity,  deny  either 
of  these  claims  which  impress  themselves  upon  him.  The  chaplain  who 
is  student  and  critic  as  well  as  prophet  and  priest  also  feels  the  same 
divergent  claims.  Yet,  once  again,  the  primary  function  of  the  two 
vocations  is  different  and  the  difference  must  not  only  be  recognized 
but  also  carefully  guarded. 

However,  to  point  to  divergent  interests  which  coinhere  in  the 
single  person  does  not  necessitate  a  schizophrenic  existence  for  either 
the  chaplain  or  the  teacher.  Uncriticized  faith  is  not  the  faith  which 
the  minister  has  been  commissioned  to  proclaim.  Theology  underlies 
faith  as  its  servant,  and  faith  better  understood  is  faith  better  pro- 
claimed. Cynical  investigation  which  knows  beforehand  that  truth  is 
not  to  be  found  in  the  tradition  is  unauthentic.  It  is  not  necessary  to 
hold  that  faith  must  be  unquestioning  or  that  interrogation  is  the 
denial  of  faith.  Both  faith  with  its  questions  and  questioning  with  its 
faith  can  and  do  live  together  in  the  same  man.  Nonetheless,  some 
men  serve  their  faith  in  an  academic  community  as  ministers.   Others 


serve  their  faith  as  scholars  and  teachers.  Each  has  his  own  responsi- 
bilities and  in  his  own  way  contributes  to  the  practice  and  study  of 

The  Requirement  of  Religion  at  Duke 

There  is  another  important  dimension  to  our  discussion  of  the 
teaching  of  religion  at  Duke  and  this  is  the  requirement  that  all 
students  in  Trinity  and  the  Women's  College  take  six  hours  of  work 
in  the  study  of  religion.  First,  let  me  briefly  describe  this  required 
work.  Each  student  must  take  a  one-semester  course  in  Old  Testament 
studies  and  a  one-semester  course  in  New  Testament  studies ;  or,  as  an 
alternative,  they  may  take  a  one-semester  course  which  covers  both  the 
Old  and  the  New  Testaments  and  a  subsequent  semester's  work  in  one 
of  three  areas :  the  Life  and  Teaching  of  Jesus,  Christian  Ethics  or 
History  of  Religions. 

In  commenting  upon  this  requirement,  let  me  make  a  simple  ob- 
servation. What  any  school  requires  beyond  the  most  minimal  work  in 
"tool"  courses  depends  almost  entirely  upon  the  character  of  the 
institution.  To  require  nothing  beyond  English,  math,  foreign  lan- 
guage and  a  natural  science  says  quite  as  clearly  what  a  school  is  like 
and  what  its  basic  value  judgments  are  as  does  the  requirement  of  any 
particular,  additional  course.  Duke,  reflecting  its  history  and  its  pur- 
poses, requires  religion,  and  in  this  it  has  expressed  its  character  and 
has  maintained  a  distinctiveness. 

It  is  significant  when  a  school  retains  what  is  of  value  from  its  past. 
But  a  retention  of  the  past  which  intends  to  hold  on  to  the  past  in  an 
uncritical  manner  or  in  order  to  avoid  facing  the  present  is  irresponsi- 
ble and  indefensible.  What,  then,  are  some  of  the  reasons  which 
make  this  requirement  both  reasonable  and  desirable?  First,  there  is 
the  undeniable  impact  of  religion  on  every  culture  and,  more  partic- 
ularly, on  the  Judaeo-Christian  tradition  in  Western  culture.  Let 
me  illustrate  this  from  an  experience  on  the  Duke  campus.  Several 
years  ago  Dylan  Thomas  was  visiting  our  school.  In  a  discussion  after 
his  public  appearance  a  personal  friend  of  his  asked  in  private  con- 
versation, "Dylan,  are  you  a  Christian?  I  am  struck  by  the  way 
Christian  symbolism  pervades  your  work."  After  a  moment's  reflec- 
tion Thomas  replied,  "No,  I'm  not  a  Christain  .  .  .  but  I  do  use 
Christian  symbolism  .  .  .  How  else  can  one  speak  in  our  culture?" 

The  fundamental  place  which  religion  has  in  the  life  of  man  has 
had  inevitable  cultural  implications  and  expressions.   But  the  relation 


of  religion  to  its  cultural  context  is  of  a  reciprocal  nature.  Not  only 
has  religion  influenced  its  culture,  the  cultural  context  has  also 
influenced  the  expression  and  interpretation  of  religion.  The  intention 
of  the  religion  requirement  is  to  reveal  the  religious  dimension  of  our 
culture  and  the  cultural  dimension  of  religion  to  our  students.  Thus, 
it  is  an  effort  to  confront  our  students  with  their  own  religious  and 
cultural  inheritance.  This  may  or  may  not  have  an  integrative 
function  in  the  student's  own  self-awareness  and  emotional  or  intel- 
lectual or  spiritual  maturation.  This  result  the  department  of  religion 
cannot  and  does  not  attempt  to  enforce.  But  Duke  University  was 
built  upon  the  belief  that  the  Christian  faith  can  have  such  a  function, 
that  learning  and  religion  are  integrally  related.  The  requirement  at- 
tempts to  provide  the  student  with  a  background  sufficient  to  help  him 
understand  this  tradition  and  make  a  responsible  decision  in  regard 
to  this  way  of  life.  By  including  the  present  requirement  of  biblical 
study  in  its  basic  curriculum,  the  university  bears  witness  to  its 
founder's  vision  of  and  to  its  faith  in  "the  eternal  union  of  knowledge 
and  religion." 

At  present  we  are  faced  with  a  fundamental  cultural  transforma- 
tion. There  is  little  doubt  that  we  are  now  already  in  what  has  been 
called  a  "post-Christian"  era,  but  which  can  more  exactly  be  called 
a  "post-Constantinian"  epoch.  This  is  to  say,  we  are  beyond  that  point 
in  the  movement  of  Western  culture  when  religion  in  general  or 
Christianity  in  particular  fundamentally  informs  our  social  context. 
No  longer  do  we  have  the  religious  supports  which  help  to  strengthen 
and  enforce  exclusively  religious  interpretations  of  life.  Such  a  cul- 
tural change  implies  two  things  for  our  discussion.  First,  in  order  to 
meet  the  new  present  and  the  changing  future,  it  is  of  prime  importance 
to  understand  our  past.  We  are  entering  a  new  cultural  setting,  but 
we  do  not  enter  it  without  a  long  history,  and  to  understand  that 
history  in  terms  of  the  interplay  of  religion  and  culture  will  both 
release  us  from  false  claims  made  on  behalf  of  each  of  these  factors  and 
also  provide  us  with  a  basis  by  which  we  can  begin  to  understand  the 
authentic  contributions  of  each  to  the  other.  Second,  we  are  living  in  a 
time  when  it  is  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  delineate  explicitly  what 
constitutes  a  "Christian"  college  or  university.  With  the  falling  away 
of  many  of  our  accepted  cultural  forms  (including  institutional  forms), 
we  are  placed  under  the  necessity  of  exploring  the  possibilities  given 
by  the  new  situation  and  of  finding  our  place  within  that  context. 

In  the  modern  university,  with  its  conflict  of  ideologies  and  its 


variant  claimants,  Duke  has  accepted  the  responsibility  of  allowing 
the  voice  of  religious  study  and  investigation  to  be  heard  as  an  integral 
part  of  its  program.  This  is  no  small  achievement.  For  on  many 
campuses  "problem  solving"  has  emerged  in  such  a  large  way  that 
reflection  on  mystery  and  meaning  has  been  lost.  Religion  is  not  the 
only  reflection  upon  the  mystery  and  meaning  of  life,  but  it  is  one  of 
the  major  ways  in  which  these  problems  have  been  discussed  and 
answered.  And  it  remains  a  way  which  merits  continued  discussion 
and  evaluation.  In  addition,  the  continuing  role  of  religion  in  our  cul- 
ture requires  careful  investigation,  especially  in  the  new  cultural 
context.  The  study  of  religion  is  not  antiquarian.  It  is,  on  the 
contrary,  a  crucially  important  aspect  of  our  contemporary  self- 

Our  Protestant  Heritage 

This  leads  to  a  further  point  which  should  be  discussed.  Since  the 
department  is  concerned  with  the  phenomenon  of  religion  and  its 
interpretation,  it  should  not  feel  that  any  single  religious  commitment 
is  necessary  to  achieve  its  goals.  Duke  has  a  Protestant  heritage, 
indeed  a  Methodist  heritage,  and  this  is  to  be  remembered,  respected 
and  enriched.  But  the  very  enrichment  of  this  faith  may  well  depend 
in  part  upon  full  intellectual  conversation  with  scholars  from  other 
religious  traditions.  Could  not  an  Eastern  Orthodox  or  a  Roman 
Catholic  scholar  contribute  to  our  investigation  ?  Could  not  a  Jewish 
scholar  enlarge  our  vision  of  Western  culture's  religious  inheritance? 
I  think  the  answer  to  this  is  affirmative,  and  it  is  worthwhile  to  attempt 
to  say  why  this  is  so. 

First  of  all,  from  the  standpoint  of  the  study  of  the  phenomenon  of 
religion  itself,  there  is  no  intrinsic  reason  why  any  honest  scholar  can- 
not investigate  the  subject  matter  of  religion.  And  it  is  narrow-minded 
to  claim  that  the  faith  perspective,  especially  when  this  is  not  defined 
along  denominational  or  sectarian  lines,  distorts  the  view  which  one 
has  of  the  phenomena.  The  faith-commitment  does,  of  course,  make  a 
difference  in  the  way  in  which  one  looks  at  reality.  We  have  certainly 
come  far  enough  in  our  understanding  of  the  intellectual  enterprise  to 
know  that  no  man  is  able  to  separate  his  most  basic  convictions  from 
his  rational  activity.  But  awareness  of  one's  commitment,  comparison 
of  that  commitment  to  other  faith  perspectives,  and  a  critical  scrutiny  of 
one's  own  stance  are  also  prerequisites  of  valid  intellectual  under- 
standing. Consequently,  while  the  basic  faith-orientation  of  the  scholar 


is  important  and  does  set  the  framework  within  which  reason  works, 
faith  also  needs  the  correction  and  the  criticism  which  rational  investi- 
gation can  provide. 

To  have  scholars  in  a  department  who  do  not  share  exactly  one's 
own  vantage  point  means  that  there  should  be  an  increased  awareness 
by  each  of  his  own  presuppositions  through  the  encounter  with  dif- 
ferent perspectives.  The  highest  service  of  God  in  any  intellectual 
activity  is  to  be  concerned  for  truth ;  we  never  do  God  honor  even 
when  we,  in  Job's  words,  "Tell  lies  in  God's  defense."  The  parochial- 
ism which  can  accrue  from  isolating  one's  self  within  one's  peculiar 
form  of  the  religious  commitment  is  always  detrimental.  The  enrich- 
ment of  study  which  can  come  from  shared  common  interests  even  by 
those  who  also  differ  is  to  be  desired.  If  the  ecumenical  movement 
has  not  made  any  other  contribution  to  contemporary  theological 
activity,  and  there  are  others,  it  has  taught  us  to  recognize  the  richness 
of  the  fabric  of  the  Christian  faith.  And  this  gain,  reinforced  by  the 
discussions  of  Christian  history  and  traditions  whether  held  in  common 
or  separately,  is  one  which  should  be  transferred  to  and  continued 
within  the  intellectual  community  of  a  university. 

There  is  also  an  advantage  in  such  an  arrangement  for  the  student 
in  the  school.  To  be  a  participant  in  the  scholarly  investigations  of 
these  common  and  variant  traditions,  to  listen  to  the  discussion  which 
takes  place  among  the  scholars,  to  be  made  aware  of  their  own  pre- 
suppositions and  to  have  the  enlargement  of  vision  which  might  result, 
are  all  valuable  additions  to  the  spiritual  and  intellectual  maturation  of 
the  student. 

Two  final  words  need  to  be  added  to  this  discussion.  First,  what  I 
have  said  is  theoretical.  Our  faculty  in  the  department  is  at  present 
composed  entirely  of  Protestants,  though  seven  different  denomina- 
tions are  represented.  But  in  principle  the  foregoing  statement 
represents  my  own  position  in  regard  to  possible  future  developments, 
and  I  personally  would  like  to  see  this  implemented.  Second,  because 
of  Duke's  heritage  it  also  seems  to  me  that  it  is  a  primary  responsibility 
of  the  department  to  represent  the  best  of  Protestant  scholarship  and  to 
have  this  responsibility  stand  at  the  center  of  its  work.  This  is  not 
said  defensively  nor  apologetically.  We  do  have  a  tradition,  indeed, 
a  significant  tradition,  to  continue ;  and  our  obligation  to  this  tradition 
must  be  met.  At  the  same  time,  our  tradition  is  not  static,  and  we 
must  also  meet  our  responsibility  to  enrich  our  heritage  and  thereby 
enhance  the  contribution  we  can  make  to  our  students. 

The  Role  of  the  Department 

Finally,  let  us  turn  to  the  distinctive  role  of  the  department  of 
religion  in  the  university.  Often  there  is  confusion  over  the  divergent 
functions  of  the  department  of  religion  as  one  of  the  academic  depart- 
ments in  the  university  and  the  Divinity  School  with  its  responsibility 
for  the  training  of  ministers.  There  is,  of  course,  the  common 
phenomena  which  both  investigate ;  and  there  is  the  common  scholarly 
responsibility  which  each  must  fulfill  in  this  investigation.  In  addition, 
there  is  a  convergence  of  the  work  of  the  two  faculties  in  the  M.A. 
and  Ph.D.  program.  But  there  are  also  differences.  The  department 
is  a  part  of  the  College  of  Arts  and  Sciences  with  an  academic 
responsibility  commensurate  with  the  other  departments  for  the 
instruction  of  students.  This  is  not  professional  training  nor  can  it  be 
evangelistic  in  its  import.  The  faculty  of  the  department  is  involved 
in  the  general  life  of  the  undergraduate  and  graduate  schools  and  must 
be  judged  by  its  scholarly  participation  and  its  responsible  teaching  in 
these  areas.  It  is  a  false  notion  to  think  of  the  department  as  a  divinity 
school  within  the  general  faculty ;  rather  there  is  a  distinctive  role  it 
must  play. 

In  the  spring  of  1964  the  department  prepared  a  statement  express- 
ing its  own  self-understanding  in  regard  to  its  special  role  in  the  uni- 
versity. Because  of  the  excellence  of  this  statement  and  because  it 
has  not  previously  been  publicly  presented,  I  would  like  to  utilize  it 
to  indicate  the  over-all  philosophy  of  the  department. 

Eruditio  et  Religio 

"A  highly  suggestive  maxim  on  education  declares :  'What  is 
honored  in  the  country  will  be  cultivated  there.'  From  its  beginning 
Duke  University  has  affirmed  the  integral  relationship  between  the 
study  of  religion  and  liberal  education,  and  in  the  honoring  of  each  has 
cultivated  the  other.  A  distinctive  aspect  of  the  philosophy  of  under- 
graduate education  at  Duke  is  the  conviction  that  the  study  of  religion 
is  not  only  integral  to,  but  is  an  indispensable  part  of,  humane  learning. 
This  understanding  is  reflected  in  the  opportunity  afforded  all  students 
of  Trinity  College  and  the  Women's  College  to  pursue  at  least  one  full 
year  of  serious  study  of  religion  in  the  normal  degree  program.  Each 
student  is  encouraged  through  the  curricular  structure  to  explore  in  a 
lively  and  critical  way  the  assumption  suggested  by  the  Duke  motto, 
that  erudition  and  religion  are  mutually  illuminating. 


Religion,  A  Humanities  Field 

"Duke  University  reflects  in  its  own  life  and  structures  the  historic 
continuities  and  the  dynamic  changes  of  our  national  existence;  it 
also  exhibits  the  tensions  intrinsic  to  change  in  the  context  of  historic 
continuity.  In  this  particular  situation  the  academic  concern  with 
religion  must  not  be  sectarian  in  aim  or  spirit.  The  Department  of 
Religion  at  Duke  understands  itself,  therefore,  like  other  departments 
of  the  college,  as  simply  engaged  in  humane  learning;  it  pursues  the 
study  of  religion  and  the  practice  of  it,  but  we  are  concerned  that  these 
not  be  confused.  The  integrity  of  either  in  the  university  depends  upon 
sustaining  the  particularity  of  each.  We  are  concerned  that  both  the 
relationship  and  the  distinction  be  understood.  Confusion  at  this  point 
has  contributed  to  developments  in  American  higher  education  that 
have  driven  the  study  of  religion  from  the  curriculum  of  many  univer- 
sities, and  the  practice  of  it  to  the  periphery  of  academic  life.  While 
recognizing  the  relationship  between  the  study  and  practice  of  religion, 
we  intend  to  clarify  the  distinction  between  them ;  and  we  intend  to  do 
this  through  a  program  that  exhibits  at  the  same  time  the  essential  role 
of  religion  in  any  curriculum  claiming  adequately  to  foster  humane 

"Hence  the  program  of  instruction  is  organized  around  historical, 
critical,  philosophical,  and  phenomenological  methods  of  study  and 
investigation.  The  particular  method  in  a  given  instance  is  determined, 
as  in  any  other  humanities  field,  by  the  nature  of  the  subject  matter 
itself,  the  personality  and  training  and  proclivities  of  the  teacher,  and 
the  learning  situation  of  the  student.  The  study  of  religion  is  thought 
of  as  intellectual  history,  in  which  the  professor  attempts  to  exhibit 
through  his  sources  certain  expressions  of  man's  inner  life  and  some 
of  his  deepest  experiences.  The  teacher  of  religion  tries  to  make 
intelligible  to  the  present  something  that  has  been  meaningful  in  our 
past.  He  intends  to  show  with  imagination  and  sensitivity  how  a 
particular  vision  of  life  or  system  of  thought  looks  from  the  inside, 
and  in  this  process  to  open  up  for  himself  and  his  students  new 
dimensions  of  possibility  for  the  understanding  of  reality.  The 
emphasis  is  therefore  upon  a  continuing  creative  apprehension  of  the 
past,  as  this  re-lived  past  addresses  itself  to  the  present  and  anticipates 
the  future. 

The  Unique  Role  of  Religion 

"The  Department  of  Religion  recognizes  that  all  the  humanities  in 
the    curriculum    deal    in    greater    or    lesser    degree    with    religious 


questions ;  that  any  study  of  history  or  literature  or  art  or  philosophy, 
for  example,  engages  the  religious  dimension.  Yet  the  study  of  religion 
is  not  history,  not  philosophy,  not  literature  as  such,  however  inti- 
mately and  necessarily  all  these  are  bound  up  together.  The  unique- 
ness of  religion  amongst  the  humanities  lies  not  so  much  in  its  methods 
and  aims  as  in  its  subject  matter.  The  particular  subject  matter  that 
has  inspired  the  ideological  expectations  of  the  Western  mind  is  a 
complex  of  assumptions  and  insights  that  might  loosely  be  called 
"biblical  understanding."  No  other  literature  of  the  Western  world 
has  influenced  so  decisively  the  affairs  of  men.  At  the  heart  of  the 
study  of  religion  is  the  attempt  to  discover  and  clarify,  to  examine 
critically,  and  to  extend  and  elaborate  that  whole  complex  of  assump- 
tions and  insights  found  in  the  Bible.  No  other  humanities  study  has 
precisely  this  unique  subject  matter  at  its  center.  It  is  crucial  therefore 
that  the  study  of  religion  be  carried  on  as  an  independent  enterprise 
alongside  other  humanities  studies  in  a  department  that  reflects  its  own 
autonomy  and  academic  integrity.  While  keeping  all  this  in  mind,  our 
department  is  nevertheless  eager  to  emphasize  the  interrelationships  of 
all  humanities  studies ;  it  actively  seeks  to  encourage  interdisciplinary 
approaches  to  all  problems.  (Hence  majors  in  other  humanities  fields 
such  as  history  or  English  or  philosophy  or  art  find  many  of  the 
elective  courses  in  religion  a  fruitful  complement  to  their  major 

The  Human  Dimension  in  Liberal  Education 

"The  Department  of  Religion  is  committed  to  the  view  that  the 
most  adequate  undergraduate  liberal  education  moves  finally  on  some 
irreducibly  human  level.  We  recognize  that  all  of  university  life 
depends  upon  the  quality  of  the  people  participating  in  it;  that  the 
character  of  a  given  university  is  dependent  upon  the  kind  of  persons 
it  can  attract  and  hold.  Commitment  to  learning,  like  all  other  commit- 
ments, is  a  form  of  love ;  and  what  men  love  in  the  last  analysis  is  not 
so  much  ideals  as  persons.  Hence,  while  we  are  concerned  as  a  faculty 
to  be  understood  as  scholar/teachers,  we  are  aware  of  that  elemental 
dimension  of  the  teaching  and  learning  process  which  keenly  involves 
human  personality.  This  means  that  the  academic  enterprise  must 
always  be  sensitive  toward  the  personal  history  of  students.  This  is 
particularly  so  in  the  field  of  religion,  where  cultural  sensibilities  tend 
to  suggest  deeply  personal  involvement.    Although  the  teacher  of 


religion  does  not  aim  to  lead  students  into  any  particular  religious 
faith,  he  must  be  aware  of  the  possible  implications  of  classroom  study 
for  personal  religious  illumination  or  disillusionment.  Although  his 
task  is  not  that  of  arresting  the  spread  of  moral  relativism,  or  directing 
the  student's  will  or  protecting  his  religious  faith,  the  teacher  of 
religion  must  be  prepared  for  the  student's  seeing  him  in  some  such 
role.  Such  student  expectations  oblige  him  to  be  peculiarly  conscious 
of  the  elusive  but  often  decisive  interpersonal  levels  of  the  educational 
process.  Furthermore,  the  learning  situation  of  the  student  often  casts 
the  professor  in  the  role  of  an  apologist  for  the  religious  system  under 
study.  While  the  teacher  must  reject  this  role,  he  nevertheless  must  be 
sensitive  to  the  cultural  forces  that  tend  so  to  cast  him ;  and  he  must 
be  responsive  to  the  implications  of  all  this  in  his  relationships  to 
students.  He  must  make  it  clear  that  he  is  not  concerned  to  do  in  the 
university  what  the  Church  attempts  to  do  in  society  at  large ;  yet  he 
must  be  open  to  the  possibility  that  the  study  of  religion  can  result  in 
the  enlargement  of  men's  lives,  and  that  this  potentiality  imposes  upon 
him  some  extra  measure  of  personal  responsibility  for  his  students." 

Religion  on  a  State  College 

Maurice  Ritchie,  '62 
Director,  Wesley  Foundation,  Appalachian  State  Teachers   College 

This  article  does  not  pretend  to  speak  for  religion  on  a  representa- 
tive state  college  campus.  It  speaks  by  and  large  of  religion  on  the 
campus  of  Appalachian  State  Teachers  College  in  Boone,  North  Caro- 
lina. If  the  article  has  any  validity  for  other  campuses,  it  is  because 
this  campus  represents  some  of  the  achievements  and  failures  of 
similar  ones  around  the  country,  particularly  in  the  South. 

Religion  on  this  campus  expresses  itself  structurally,  from  the  side 
of  the  College,  in  much  the  same  way  as  any  campus  club.  The 
Religious  Council  is  a  group  of  representatives  from  the  several 
religious  communions  in  the  town  of  Boone  as  well  as  the  Young 
Women's  and  Young  Men's  Christian  Association,  the  Fellowship 
of  Christian  Athletes  and  others.  The  Council  functions  in  much  the 
same  way  as  any  other  campus  club.  It  meets  regularly  to  plan  its 
(religious)  activities,  sponsors  parties  for  its  members,  elects  officers, 
etc.  Its  budget  is  underwritten  partially  by  the  College  and  in  part  by 
the  denominational  organizations  such  as  the  Newman  Club,  Baptist 
Student  Union  and  Wesley  Foundation. 

But  the  Religious  Council,  or  Student  Christian  Association,  is 
simply  the  united  front  organization  which  plans  and  executes  the  oc- 
casional forays  into  campus  life,  such  as  Religious  Emphasis  Week. 
From  day  to  day  religion  on  the  campus  is  best  reflected  by  the 
denominational  programs  sponsored  by  the  various  churches. 

Although  state  colleges  have  been  relatively  generous  in  making 
their  facilities  available  to  the  denominations,  very  few  state-supported 
schools  will  permit  churches  to  be  housed  directly  on  the  campus  itself. 
Therefore  the  churches  have  purchased  land  and  built  their  denomina- 
tional centers  as  close  as  possible  to  the  campus,  a  necessity  which  has 
located  most  religious  activity  in  the  centers  off  the  campus. 

As  a  result  the  ideal  for  campus  ministry  which  has  developed  is 
that  of  a  young,  full-time  minister  with  offices  located  as  near  the 
campus  as  possible.  This  is  the  bare  minimum.  Beyond  this  are  vary- 


ing  degrees  of  facilities,  ranging  from  small  houses  for  use  by  students 
during  the  day  and  evening,  to  elaborate  structures  with  libraries,  TV 
lounges,  music  rooms,  small  seminar  rooms,  chapels  and  fellowship 

These  off -campus  denominational  centers  have  developed  programs 
centered,  in  the  main,  around  their  facilities  or  'houses'.  There  are 
study  groups,  discussions,  forums,  recreation,  coffee  houses  and  any 
number  of  other  activities  related  to  these  facilities  in  which  the 
churches  have  made  large  investments. 

The  result  of  this  approach  to  the  campus  ministry  has  often  been 
captivity  to  a  specific  sanctuary,  namely  the  denominational  house. 
Not  only  does  the  house  or  center  'contain'  all  the  activity  sponsored 
by  the  denomination,  it  also  contains  the  campus  chaplains.  It  is  a  rare 
occurrence  that  a  campus  minister  is  able  to  emerge  from  his  'student 
house'  to  spend  any  more  than  a  coffee  hour  or  so  on  the  campus  with 
the  students.  Chances  are  that  his  program  is  so  highly  developed 
around  the  house  for  which  he  is  responsible  to  his  denomination  that 
he  cannot  break  out  of  it.  This  is  not  so  much  his  personal  failure 
as  the  limitations  within  which  he  must  work.  The  state  limits  his 
activity  on  the  campus,  or  at  least  the  facilities  at  his  disposal  there, 
and  the  church  has  yet  to  provide  the  funds  for  an  adequate  staff 
which  might  free  him  for  extended  periods  of  time  on  the  campus 
during  the  day  and  evening. 

The  off-campus  location  of  the  denominational  center  and  the 
identification  of  religious  activity  with  the  building  itself  carry  a 
certain  stigma  of  irrelevance,  or  being  out  of  touch.  The  church,  in 
the  mind  of  the  student,  is  over  there  on  the  edge  of  the  campus.  It  is 
not  indigenous,  it  is  not  a  group  of  students  giving  witness  to  their 
ultimate  commitment  in  the  center  of  the  campus  and  seeking  to  call 
other  students  to  the  same  task  in  the  thick  of  campus  life.  It  is  their 
ultimate  commitment  expressed  off  the  campus,  over  there  on  the 
edge  of  campus  life,  calling  students  to  a  mission  away  from  the 
campus  and  not  one  at  the  heart  of  its  own  life.  This  off-campus 
location  imposes  on  the  campus  minister  and  student  council  a  special 
burden  to  remind  students  constantly  that  their  commitment  is  to  be 
lived  out  in  the  classroom,  the  dorm  and  student  'dives'  wherever  they 
are,  and  not  just  in  the  campus  cloister,  whether  it  be  the  wing  of  a 
denominational  church  adjacent  to  the  campus,  or  the  confines  of  their 
own  denominational  house. 

Frequently  campus  ministers  and  their  sponsoring  agencies  have 


failed  to  recognize  sufficiently  the  limitations  of  this  off -campus  status. 
Denominational  authorities  have  submitted  to  a  kind  of  co-existence 
with  the  university  or  college.  The  state  grants  a  limited  amount  of 
freedom  to  actively  solicit  denominational  loyalty  from  the  students  on 
the  campus.  In  turn  the  denomination  restricts  its  intervention  in 
campus  life.  It  supports  student  morality,  roundly  condemns  cheating, 
theft,  drinking  and  other  infractions  of  the  moral  code,  while  it 
provides  a  specialized  cultic  life,  some  recreational  opportunity  and 
personal  counseling  for  the  students  off  the  campus.  Thus  the  college 
bolsters  denominational  introversion  while  the  denomination  supports 
student  discipline. 

It  is  this  co-existence  which  has  resulted  in  the  ecclesiastical  intro- 
version of  campus  ministries.  The  church  has  been  permitted  to  work 
with  individual  students  off  campus,  to  build  good  programs  for  the 
students  who  come  to  them,  but — understandably  enough — it  has  not 
been  actively  encouraged  to  concern  itself  too  directly  with  campus 
affairs  such  as  student  honor  systems,  sub-standard  student  housing 
conditions  off  campus,  or  immoral  administrative  practices  within  the 
college  or  university  itself. 

Also  contributing  to  denominational  introversion  in  the  campus 
ministry  has  been  the  seemingly  devastating  pragmatism  of  the 
sponsoring  agencies.  The  churches  are  interested  in  a  return  on  their 
invested  dollar  on  the  campus,  and  the  way  they  measure  this  invest- 
ment is  the  ability  of  campus  ministers  to  develop  'strong'  programs, 
'strong'  here  meaning  numerical  support  of  the  activities  scheduled  by 
the  campus  ministers.  If  there  is  no  steady  stream  of  students  through 
the  denominational  center  week  by  week,  then  the  ideas  of  the  campus 
minister  must  be  "too  far  out"  for  the  students,  or  he  is  "too  critical  of 
the  institutional  church,"  or  lacking  in  industriousness. 

If  the  campus  ministry  is  failing  in  a  number  of  places — and  of 
course  there  are  many  who,  for  a  variety  of  reasons,  say  that  it  is — it  is 
failing  because  of  this  narrowly  defined,  introverted  role  of  the 
ministries.  The  denominations  have  provided,  so  it  would  appear, 
programs  which  in  fact  are  more  interested  in  serving  the  denomina- 
tions than  the  campus  (students).  But  students  are  not  interested 
in  perpetuating  the  church  as  an  institution  because  very  few  of  them 
are  profoundly  convinced  that  the  church  is  that  important  as  an 

Campus  ministers  are  becoming  increasingly  convinced  that  they 
and  their  sponsoring  agencies  have  called  students  to  the  church  and 


then  simply  rejoiced  because  they  were  there,  or  what  is  more  often 
the  case,  wept  because  they  did  not  come,  despite  the  carefully  planned 
recreation,  entertainment,  worship  and  discussions.  More  and  more 
they  (the  ministers)  are  raising  the  question:  What  is  the  uniquely 
Christian  or  even  very  ordinary  ministry  (service)  which  we  can 
render  the  students  which  is  not  being  carried  out  elsewhere  on 
campus?  or  How  can  we  break  out  of  our  captivity  to  Zion  (denomina- 
tional structures)  to  go  outside  the  gate  and  'die'  with  our  Lord 
(Hebrews  13:12,   13)? 

This  turn  in  the  campus  ministry  marks  the  death  of  the  old  role 
of  religion  on  the  state  campus.  The  old  approach  is  dying  because 
there  are  so  many  activities  available  to  students  and  competing  for 
their  loyalty  that  it  cannot  hold  its  own.  The  campus  ministry  must 
begin  putting  itself  in  a  better  position  to  serve  students  in  depth,  to 
take  them  seriously,  to  listen  to  their  concerns  and  questions  with 
utter  seriousness,  to  place  its  facilities  and  funds  at  their  disposal. 
The  only  way  we  in  the  campus  ministry  can  accomplish  this  is  by 
going  where  the  students  are,  on  the  campus.  This  is  no  easy  thing, 
neither  is  it  impossible.  The  most  difficult  part  will  be  the  change  in 
the  church's  vocabulary ;  we  shall  have  to  learn  all  over  again  that  the 
church  was  made  for  man,  not  man  for  the  church.  We  shall  no  longer 
call  students  to  ourselves ;  we  shall  go  to  them  with  the  "bare  an- 
nouncement of  God's  love"  (see  Stringfellow  quotation  below). 

If  the  old  approach  to  the  campus  ministry,  with  its  call  to  students 
to  come  unto  itself,  is  dying,  the  new  shape  of  ministry  (service, 
servanthood)  will  be  to  find  ground  on  the  campus  for  the  church  to 
work  in,  i.e.  to  find  areas  of  common  concern  between  the  college  and 
the  campus  ministry.  The  goals  of  the  church  and  those  of  the 
academic  world  are  not  the  same,  but  there  are  areas  of  concern, 
aspects  of  their  natures,  which  do  not  conflict  but  complement  each 

One  such  area  is  the  academic  endeavor  itself.  Unfortunately  the 
church  has  not  always  been  as  appreciative  of  academic  endeavor  as  it 
should  be.  Because  it  has  looked  upon  the  academic  world  as  a  threat 
to  evangelical  piety,  it  has  failed  to  see  in  the  earnest  search  for  truth  a 
powerful  vehicle  for  the  work  of  the  Spirit.  If  Christians  truly  believe 
in  the  depths  that  the  God  who  brought  His  people  out  of  Egypt  and 
established  a  New  Covenant  with  them  is  the  Lord  of  all  truth,  then 
there  are  indeed  common  areas  of  concern  between  the  Bride  of  Christ 
and    real    scholarship.     Insofar   as    real    learning    represents    honest 


engagement  of  the  student  with  the  traditions  and  discoveries  of  the 
world  he  has  been  given  in  his  birth,  it  offers  a  real  channel  for  the 
work  of  the  Spirit. 

The  lectern  and  seminar  can  serve  the  church  in  invaluable  ways, 
not  least  of  all  in  fostering  what  Peter  Berger  has  called  the  experience 
of  alternation  (cf.  The  Precarious  Vision,  Doubleday,  pp.  8-22). 
Through  his  study  of  various  cultures  and  societies  the  student  is 
brought  nose  to  nose  with  the  precarious  nature  of  his  own  social 
existence.  He  acquires  a  new  perspective  on  society,  one  which  differs 
radically  from  the  one  he  had  previously  taken  for  granted.  Whereas 
he  formerly  identified  his  existence  with  the  apparently  iron-clad 
customs  and  mores  of  his  society,  he  now  'locates'  himself  within  a 
particular  social  and  cultural  context,  perceiving  that  his  way  of  life  is 
only  one  of  many  possibilities  in  the  world.  The  creative  possibility  of 
this  experience  lies  in  the  perception  of  life  in  all  its  precariousness, 
freeing  the  individual  from  complete  identification  with  his  social 
origins  and  roles.  The  person,  be  he  student  or  other,  is  revealed  to 
himself  as  he  is;  he  is  separated  from  his  role,  and  the  society  in 
which  he  lives  is  stripped  of  any  ultimate  significance  with  which  the 
community  or  the  person  himself  might  have  endowed  it.  The  experi- 
ence of  alternation  therefore,  though  it  preaches  no  'good  news', 
is  capable  of  destroying  false  gods  in  a  very  real  sense. 

One  dare  not  romanticize  the  university  simply  because  it  has  this 
great  potential.  Too  frequently  it  has  failed  to  establish  conditions 
conducive  to  the  experience  of  'alternation'  and  dwelt  instead  on  im- 
parting 'practical'  knowledge,  i.e.  teaching  certain  job  skills  or  dispens- 
ing facts  which  students  are  expected  to  carry  directly  from  the  class- 
room into  their  future  vocations  or  'real-life,  practical'  situations. 

Where  genuine  intellectual  curiosity  and  love  of  learning  already 
exist  on  a  campus,  it  is  much  easier  to  engage  in  Christian  apologetics 
and  Christian  nurture,  else  one  must  first  blast  through  a  wall  of 
ignorance  and  indifference  before  he  can  say  anything  at  all  to  the 
student.  For  example,  if  a  minister  wished  to  acquaint  students  with 
Soren  Kierkegaard  on  more  than  a  superficial  level,  it  is  much  simpler 
when  Kierkegaard's  work  is  already  vaguely  familiar  to  students. 

Of  course  there  will  be  many  areas  of  deep  concern  on  the  campus 
with  which  a  campus  ministry  cannot  be  extensively  involved.  And 
there  are  areas  of  concern  too  with  which  a  campus  ministry  wishes 
to  deal  that  are  of  lesser  interest  on  the  campus.    For  instance  vital 


contemporary  issues  are  not  as  widely  treated  on  this  campus  as  the 
campus  minister  would  wish. 

The  Wesley  Foundation  at  ASTC  has  attempted  on  a  modest  scale 
to  find  some  common  areas  of  concern  with  the  campus.  It  has 
directed  its  attention  mainly  to  the  integrity  of  student  life,  a  matter 
which  should  demand  much  more  attention  from  the  College  adminis- 
tration than  it  is  presently  receiving. 

The  students  at  the  Wesley  Foundation  (and  Baptist  Student 
Union,  for  the  program  was  a  co-operative  endeavor)  listed  several 
student  problems.  They  settled  on  three  for  special  attention :  tensions 
in  becoming  and  remaining  an  effective  teacher,  latent  homosexuality 
or  the  problem  of  the  'different'  student,  and  the  racial  crisis.  Three 
so-called  'secular'  films  were  selected  which  dealt  in  some  way  with 
the  three  areas  of  concern.  A  large  lecture  room  in  the  science  build- 
ing on  campus  offered  an  acceptable  screen  and  sound  system,  and  a 
competent  instructor  or  professor  was  chosen  to  lead  a  discussion  on 
each  film  immediately  following  its  presentation.  The  discussion  was 
desired  to  assist  the  students  in  raising  questions  pertinent  to  the 
concern  at  hand,  but  there  was  no  feeling  that  this  was  the  most 
important  part  of  the  evening.  The  response  to  the  films  was  highly 
gratifying.  Students  reported  informal  discussions  in  the  dorms  with 
their  roommates,  and  in  at  least  one  instance  an  instructor  devoted  his 
class  hour  to  a  detailed  discussion  of  one  of  the  films. 

The  goal  with  this  project  was  simply  to  aid  students  in  raising 
questions  about  their  lives:  namely  the  questions  of  their  attitudes 
toward  their  professors,  toward  their  fellow  students,  and  toward  those 
of  other  races.  There  was  no  attempt  to  evangelize ;  no  one  felt 
compelled  to  preach.  In  fact  it  was  made  clear  to  discussion  leaders 
that  they  had  been  chosen  because  of  their  competence  in  their  fields 
and  their  ability  to  communicate  with  students,  and  that  no  Christian 
moral  was  to  be  extracted  from  the  film. 

With  each  film  the  number  of  students  responding  to  the  programs 
increased,  so  much  so  that  they  had  to  be  moved  to  larger  facilities. 
There  appeared  to  be  genuine  appreciation  from  students  for  the 
programs,  and  significantly  enough  some  asked  :  Why  does  a  Christian 
organization  sponsor  programs  like  this?  The  answer  of  course  was 
no  sermon  either  in  the  traditional  sense :  The  Wesley  Foundation 
simply  wants  to  help  you  think  a  little  more  clearly  about  some  things 
which  may  bother  you. 

Active  participants  in  the  Wesley  Foundation  have  spoken  again 


and  again  of  this  film  series,  for  they  have  found  in  it  a  significance 
which  they  have  missed  in  other  areas  of  our  center  program.  They 
believe  that  we  went  to  the  student,  into  the  very  center  of  his  life,  and 
there  did  what  we  felt  he  needed.  There  was  no  propaganda,  no 
ulterior  motive,  only  the  question :  Could  it  be  that  we  could  be  helpful 
to  our  fellow  students  in  this  way  ? 

Another  manner  in  which  campus  ministries  can  get  on  campuses 
in  a  significant  way  is  that  of  involvement  in  student  political  issues. 
There  is  little  to  be  said  for  involvement  simply  for  the  sake  of  involve- 
ment, but  on  every  campus,  from  time  to  time,  the  student  body  has 
opportunity  to  raise  its  voice  in  the  government  of  its  own  life.  Such 
an  occasion  came  last  year  at  Appalachian  when  the  college  adminis- 
tration presented  to  the  student  body  an  honor  system  for  its  ac- 
ceptance or  refusal. 

The  Wesley  Foundation  decided  that  it  should  give  this  election 
serious  discussion.  As  the  time  for  balloting  drew  near,  it  became 
increasingly  evident  that  the  system  proposed  by  the  Administration 
would  be  overwhelmingly  defeated  primarily,  it  appeared,  because  of 
the  way  it  had  been  presented  to  the  student  government.  Concern 
over  this  issue  increased  and  the  student  council  of  the  Wesley 
Foundation  initiated  a  write-in  campaign.  This  was  a  concerted  effort 
through  posters  and  mimeographed  sheets  to  get  students  to  write  on 
their  ballots :  "I  am  against  this  system,  but  for  an  honor  system."  If 
this  were  effective,  so  the  council  felt,  it  would  leave  the  door  open 
for  work  on  an  improved  system.  Otherwise  the  Administration  might 
interpret  the  overwhelming  defeat  of  their  system  as  student  body 
rejection  of  any  honor  system  whatever.  The  campaign  failed,  but  it 
was  helpful  for  the  Wesley  Foundation  itself  because  it  opened  an 
entirely  new  area  of  involvement  for  it  in  campus  life. 

A  more  traditional  way  of  getting  the  campus  ministry  back  on  the 
campus,  and  one  a  little  more  familiar  and  acceptable  to  many  church 
people,  is  through  responsible  students  themselves.  This  means  that 
mature  Christian  students  seriously  evaluate  where  their  presence  is 
most  needed :  in  the  campus  Christian  center  or  on  the  newspaper  staff, 
within  student  government  or  perhaps  dormitory  supervision  ('junior 
counselors').  The  students  may  choose  to  spend  more  of  their  time 
on  campus,  curtailing  seriously  their  activity  in  the  church.  This  is 
sometimes  hard  to  take,  for  the  campus  Christian  center  or  Wesley 
Foundation  may  be  in  dire  need  of  that  person's  leadership.  But  if  we 
in  the  campus  ministry  are  going  to  take  seriously  the  calling  of 


responsible  students  to  Christian  ministry  on  the  campus,  we  must  be 
willing  to  accept  these  decisions  to  make  their  witness  elsewhere. 

These  illustrations  are  intended  only  to  be  suggestive  of  ways  in 
which  campus  Christian  organizations  can  become  involved  more 
directly  and  concretely  in  the  life  of  the  campus  and  ministry  to  it. 
Leaders  of  the  Appalachian  Wesley  Foundation  are  coming  more  and 
more  to  brieve  that  if  the  theological  education  which  is  attempted  in 
their  community  is  to  have  any  meaning  at  all,  it  must  be  carried  out 
in  the  context  of  active  engagement  with  the  life  of  the  students.  If 
theology  is  indeed  articulated  Christian  experience,  then  this  will  have 
to  be  the  case  before  it  will  have  meaning  for  the  campus. 

Beyond  this  the  student  council  is  asking  how  it  can  put  its 
facilities  at  the  disposal  of  the  students  at  large.  This  is  already  a 
common  practice  in  many  campus  ministries,  evident  from  the  number 
of  coffee  houses  and  drama  groups  now  being  sponsored  by  campus 
ministries  around  the  country.  Presently  the  ministry  here  is  actively 
inquiring  among  certain  segments  of  the  student  body  concerning  their 
interests  and  whether  there  is  any  way  in  which  its  resources  can  be 
put  at  their  disposal. 

This  approach  to  the  campus  ministry  is  active  involvement  in 
campus  life.  In  all  these  efforts  there  has  been  active  faculty  support 
on  a  small  scale  and  widespread  faculty  appreciation  for  them.  (In 
fact  some  of  the  most  enthusiastic  faculty  support  has  come  from  men 
with  no  ties  whatever  to  the  institutional  church.)  It  is  sad  but  true 
that  faculty  appreciation  for  this  campus  involvement  has  often  been 
greater  than  that  of  the  students. 

These  turns  toward  the  campus  have  not  meant  a  suspension  of 
the  program  within  the  Methodist  Student  Center  itself;  this  has 
continued  at  a  strong  pace.  But  students  are  becoming  increasingly 
convinced  that  this  is  not  enough,  that  although  the  attempt  is  made 
to  relate  everything  to  campus  life,  the  building  itself  must  not  be  a 
fortress  to  escape  the  campus  but  a  way-station  to  serve  it. 

This  concept  of  ministry  has  been  stated  much  better  in  other 
places.  Currently  leaders  in  the  Student  Christian  Movement  (SCM) 
are  speaking  of  it  in  terms  of  'presence'.  The  task  of  the  Christian  in 
today's  world  is  to  be  'present'  to  mankind,  to  be  'with'  men  in  their 
joy  and  sorrow,  their  exultation  and  suffering.  The  concept  connotes 
identification  with  and  compassion  for  men  in  their  stations  in  life.  It 
has  been  presented  effectively  in  a  number  of  places,  but  William 


Stringfellow  has  caught  it  quite  well  in  his  book  Free  in  Obedience 
(Seabury,  1964). 

Gimmicks,  says  Stringfellow,  may  be  acceptable  for  ministry  in 
some  instances,  but  their  effectiveness  apart  from  close  personal 
Christian  involvement  in  concrete  situations  is  questionable.  In  the 
mission  to  the  city  Stringfellow  suggests  this  approach : 

...  I  think,  I  would  go  out  to  scour  the  land  to  find  perhaps  five  hundred 
Christians — men  and  women,  clergy  and  laity — to  commission  and  send 
into  the  city.  When  I  had  found  and  called  these  missionaries  I  would  tell 
them  that  they  were  to  go,  probably  in  pairs,  into  the  city  and  just  live  on 
whatever  means  of  survival  prevailed  in  the  block  or  neighborhood  to 
which  they  were  sent;  they  would  have  to  live,  in  so  far  as  possible,  as 
those  to  whom  they  were  sent.  I  would  instruct  them  that  upon  their 
arrival  they  should  do  only  one  thing :  knock  on  every  door.  Most  doors 
would  not  be  opened,  at  least  not  readily.  But  when  a  door  opened  the 
missionaries  would  say :  ''We  have  come  to  be  with  you  because  God  cares 
for  your  life,  and,  because  God  cares  for  your  life,  we  also  care  for  you." 
Period.  There  would  be  nothing  more — no  invitations  to  join  the  Church, 
no  programs  to  offer  people  or  their  kids,  no  rummage  to  give  away,  no 
concealed  motives,  and  no  hidden  agendas.  There  would  be  just  the  bare 
announcement  of  God's  love  and  the  freedom  which  that  love  gives  people 
to  love  each  other,    (pp.  41-42) 

Stringfellow  speaks  of  this  witness  as  the  quiet  or  even  secret 
witness,  "an  event  unknown  except  to  those  who  are  themselves 
involved  in  the  situation"  (p.  43).  It  becomes  public  when  the 
Christian  people  gather  openly  and  publicly  as  a  society  to  offer  God 
"their  involvements  jointly  and  severally  in  the  world's  existence"  (p. 

Getting  students  on  the  campus  to  accept  the  campus  itself  as  their 
own  personal  place  of  witness  and  responsibility  will  not  be  easy. 
Students  have  very  limited  experience  in  assuming  responsibility  for 
anything  when  they  first  hit  the  campus.  They  have  been  catered  to 
by  local  churches  to  the  point  of  feeling  that  the  responsibility  for 
ministry  lies  squarely  on  the  shoulders  of  professionally  trained  per- 
sons and  no  one  else.  Somehow  they  will  have  to  be  re-educated  so 
that  they  will  perceive  that  the  ministry  to  the  campus  belongs  to 
them  and  can  belong  nowhere  else,  or  as  Stringfellow  says,  that  "the 
witness  of  the  Christian  in  a  place  is  his  very  presence  in  that  place" 
(p.  43),  not  necessarily  the  presence  of  some  professionally  trained 

No  doubt  there  are  some  who  will  see  this  movement  toward  the 


campus  and  away  from  denominational  fortresses  as  a  movement 
away  from  the  Church,  away  from  real  Christian  ministry  and  toward 
a  kind  of  'secular'  gospel.  So  be  it!  One  of  the  church's  great 
struggles  in  this  age  is  that  of  rediscovering  the  Holy  Spirit,  and 
hopefully  in  rediscovering  Him  our  vision  will  be  somewhat  enlarged. 
Many  conscientious  Christians  are  dejected  when  they  see  the  Spirit 
working  on  the  other  side  of  the  walls  of  Zion.  Somehow  He  is  not 
supposed  to  be  over  there,  only  inside  Zion.  There  may  be  many  who 
are  still  naive  enough  to  believe  that  what  is  needed  is  a  bolstering  of 
the  old  approaches  and  structures,  a  little  more  energy  applied  here,  a 
little  more  money  there  and  certainly  a  stronger  voice  against  the 
horrid  vices  of  the  degenerate  campus.  Well,  these  have  all  been  tried 
at  one  time  or  another  in  almost  every  campus  situation,  and  the  only 
consistent  result  has  been  failure  to  build  a  stronger  ministry. 

One  need  only  speak  with  student  and  faculty  leaders  in  campus 
Christian  work,  as  I  have  done  in  recent  weeks,  to  see  the  virtually 
complete  failure  of  the  old  approach.  The  conviction  is  widespread 
that  presently  religion  is  having  little  if  any  impact  whatever  on  the 
campus  at  large.  A  hopelessness  of  reaching  the  'mass'  of  students 
with  anything  more  than  a  'religion  for  the  sake  of  religion'  pervades 
the  campus.  Religious  Councils  or  Student  Christian  Associations 
search  their  minds  and  lists  of  personnel  resources  annually  for  topics 
and  speakers  which  will  'break  through'  the  apparently  inpenetrable 
wall  of  student  indifference  towards  the  church. 

The  great  temptation  of  man  is  always  to  think  that  there  is  a 
gimmick  somewhere  which  he  has  failed  to  employ,  and  that  this  must 
account  for  his  failure.  None  of  us  wants  to  admit  that  we  are  the 
failure,  our  perverted  self-worship,  our  pre-occupation  with  ourselves, 
our  absolute  unwillingness  to  risk  all  for  the  sake  of  the  Gospel,  our 
inability  to  believe  very  deeply  that  in  losing  ourselves  we  really  find 

If  indeed  there  is  a  turn  toward  the  campus,  as  this  brief  article 
has  contended,  perhaps  it  is  because  the  church  is  discovering  that 
she  has  not  understood  her  nature  and  role  on  the  campus  correctly. 
Perhaps  she  is  perceiving  that  her  courtship  with  the  fleshpots  of 
Egypt  was  unfaithfulness  to  her  loving  and  faithful  Groom.  Hope- 
fully she  is  seeing  the  end  of  her  captivity  to  Zion  and  indeed  inching 
outside  the  gate,  even  if  this  be  sometimes  with  great  anxiety  and 

Chapel  Meditation 

To  Have  and  Have  Not 

What  does  it  mean  to  say  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the  Lord  and  Saviour 
of  my  life?  Without  attempting  to  exhaust  all  the  dimensions  of  the 
question,  it  seems  to  me  that  essentially  it  is  to  say  that  in  Jesus  Christ 
I  find  the  moment,  meaning  and  direction  of  my  day  to  day  life.  Char- 
acteristic of  this  daily  life  is  a  shifting  quality,  an  aimless  and  ground- 
less thrust.  It  is  like  a  journey  in  the  desert  sands ;  the  pathways  of 
previous  travelers  and,  indeed,  our  own  fresh-made  tracks,  are  con- 
stantly eradicated  by  the  ever-shifting  sands.  Even  the  very  topography 
of  life  itself  is  as  fluid  as  the  shifting  sand  dunes ;  hills  appear  where 
only  moments  before  valleys  rested.  And  into  this  shifting  maze  the 
life,  death,  resurrection  and  continuing  reign  in  glory  of  a  Galilean 
carpenter  drives  a  stabilizing  coordinate  system  upon  which  our  daily 
lives  may  move  freely  without  fear  of  becoming  lost  and  perishing. 
Jesus  Christ  is  the  firm  foundation.  He  is  a  lens  focusing  the  brilliant 
light  of  truth,  illuminating  the  darkened  and  confusing  morass  of 
minutiae  of  which  ordinary  living  is  composed,  revealing  the  purpose 
and  direction  of  life.  And  I,  a  senior  in  this  Divinity  School,  have  the 
privilege  of  being  a  special  messenger  bearing  this  good  news,  this 
saving  knowledge — a  minister  of  the  Gospel  witnessing  to  the  power 
of  this  Incarnate  Word  in  the  lives  of  men. 

But  I  confess  to  you  that  I'm  afraid.  I'm  running  scared.  Too 
often  I  find  myself  grasping  for  this  firm  foundation  as  the  weaving 
and  entangling  patterns  of  daily  life  erode  my  little  corner  of  the  rock. 
My  sextant  gets  out  of  focus,  and  I  wander,  aimlessly  seeking  that 
direction  and  meaning  which  was  once  so  sure.  More  often  than  not 
I  am  a  minister  of  the  Gospel — seeking  that  Gospel.  And  eventually, 
yet  inevitably,  I  am  led  back  to  this  firm  foundation,  to  this  Word  of 
God,  by  the  good  offices  of  the  brotherhood  in  which  I  participate.  In 
the  common  seeking  of  the  brotherhood  of  believing  unbelievers 
direction  is  regained  and  life  reoriented  to  meaning.  I  am  a  minister 
of  the  Gospel — seeking  the  Gospel — in  the  company  of  fellow  seekers. 

And  it  seems  to  me  that  he  who  has  the  Gospel,  is  precisely  he  who 
recognizes  that  he  has  not  the  Gospel.  He  who  seeks  the  Gospel  both 
has  and  has  not  that  Gospel,  and  in  having  and  yet  not  having,  truly 


has  it.  And  here  is  the  authentic  movement  of  the  Christian  life — a 
reverberation  of  disconsonant  motions  harmonizing  in  an  awareness 
that  daily  life  is  not  merely  a  spasmodic  series  of  chance  happenings, 
but  is  caught  up  in  an  over-arching  providence,  an  ultimate  A-OKness, 
a  fundamental  soundness.  And  without  this  discordant  note  of  doubt 
and  fear  the  harmony  is  so  sweet  that  a  false  security  is  substituted  for 
the  fundamental  soundness. 

So  I'm  afraid,  running  scared  in  the  face  of  a  ministry  in  which  I 
am  proclaiming  something  that  I  simply  cannot  nail  down  and  hang 
my  ecclesiastical  collar  upon.  But  perhaps  my  experience  is  valid. 
Without  this  stress  of  constantly  not  having  that  which  I  have,  my 
faith  would  become  meaningless  and  powerless.  If  I  snuggle  up  too 
securely  in  the  affirmations  of  my  church  I  suffocate.  Only  as  I  am 
repeatedly  driven  forth  from  the  womb  of  the  Mother  Church  into 
the  devastating  encounter  with  the  possibility  that  this  ridiculous  little 
story  that  I  tell  is  a  lot  of  tommyrot — and  then,  just  as  forcefully, 
drawn  back  into  the  only  ground  upon  which  my  life  really  thrives, 
does  my  faith  remain  vital.  Only  as  often  as  I  attempt  to  reject  Jesus 
Christ,  and  thereby  find  him  anew,  is  the  undergirding  source  vitalized. 

And  so,  integral  to  the  affirmation  of  Jesus  Christ  as  Lord  and 
Saviour  of  my  life  is  the  ringing  discordance  of  disbelief.  Without  this 
discordant  overtone  woven  into  my  witness  the  sound  is  indeed  too 
sweet.  The  scheme  falls  too  neatly  into  place.  It  becomes  an  artificial 
overlay  forced  onto  the  unyielding  reality  of  life. 

Therefore,  I  am  lodged  between  fear  and  hope.  Praise  God  for  the 
fear  as  well  as  the  hope.  Praise  God  for  the  sensitivity  drawn  forth  by 
fear,  that  it  may  ever  illuminate  the  hope.  In  fear  I  plumb  the  depths  of 
life  and  explore  every  cranny.  In  hope  I  soar  to  the  heights  of  life  and 
map  out  the  whole  expanse.  In  fear  and  in  hope  I  acknowledge  Jesus 
Christ  to  be  Lord  and  Saviour  of  my  life.  AMEN. 
March  25,  1965  —Hubert  T.  Davis,  '65 


daniel  m.  schores,  jr.,  Assistant  Professor  of  Church  and  Society 
and  Associate  Director  of  Field  Education : 

This  autobiographical  note  is  approached  with  mixed  feelings  of 
humility  and  pride.  Let's  trust  that  they  remain  in  proper  perspective. 

Two  themes  dominate  as  one  analyzes  those  influences  which  have 
contributed  toward  the  shaping  of  my  life.  The  first  is  that  of 
"tension."  A  series  of  contrasts — the  "yin"  and  "yang"  energy-modes 
of  Chinese  philosophy — continually  offer  themselves  as  alternatives 
from  which  to  choose.  Some  of  these  have  been :  reason  vs.  faith  (as 
symbolized  in  the  choice  between  a  scientific  career  or  the  ministry), 
my  urban  childhood  vs.  a  dedication  to  the  rural  ministry,  idealism  vs. 
pragmatism  (e.g.,  pacifism  as  contrasted  with  stereotyped  patriotism 
or  faith  vs.  sociological  reality),  enjoyment  of  material  pleasure  vs. 
a  commitment  to  "things  of  the  spirit,"  the  parish  ministry  vs.  a  teach- 
ing position,  the  "ought"  as  opposed  to  the  "as  is"  in  personal  ethics. 
By  attempting  to  maintain  a  careful  balance  between  these  tensions — 
I  have  long  since  given  up  their  final  resolution — there  has  come  both 
emotional  and  intellectual  stimulation.  Whatever  human  insight  I  may 
have  in  the  struggles  others  face  has  come  from  the  struggles  first 
faced  by  myself. 

The  second  dominant  theme  is  that  of  the  province  of  God.  Even 
prior  to  any  sense  of  ministerial  calling,  it  appeared  that  God  was 
giving  purposeful  direction  to  my  life  by  opening  new  opportunities  or 
blocking  self-chosen  goals.  Later  experience  has  reinforced  this  sense 
of  providential  care.  When  least  expected  a  new  avenue  of  service 
might  arise.  When  personal  plans  seemed  defeated,  a  superior  path  has 
appeared.  To  be  able  to  enter  these  unexpected  "open  doors"  one 
must  remain  flexible  yet  committed  to  an  overall  vocation.  Such  a  self- 
surrender  of  one's  will  has  not  always  come  easily.  A  layman  of  a 
church  once  served  provided  me  with  the  Biblical  text  which  has  since 
been  my  lodestar:  "My  times  are  in  thy  hands."  (Psalm  31 :15)  Hymn 
322  in  The  Methodist  Hymnal  expresses  this  philosophy  in  verse. 

The  facts  of  my  life  can  be  briefly  stated.  Born  and  raised  in 
suburban  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  I  "accidently"  became  a  Methodist  as 
that  was  the  closest  church.   Our  family  was  actively  religious.    Fol- 


lowing  high  school  I  entered  Washington  University  in  St.  Louis  to 
pursue  my  long  chosen  career  of  chemical  engineering,  only  to  have  a 
period  of  soul-searching  disrupt  plans  after  two  years  and  turn  me 
toward  the  Christian  ministry.  Undergraduate  studies  were  thus 
completed  at  Central  Methodist  College,  Fayette,  Missouri,  with  the 
strange  combination  of  a  major  in  religion  and  a  minor  in  math.  Sum- 
mer chaplaincy  at  a  Boy  Scout  camp,  weekend  preaching  and  a  small 
student  charge  were  the  first  feeble  attempts  at  professional  service. 

The  love,  companionship  and  understanding  of  Marie  Sessler  of  St. 
Louis  has  been  enjoyed  since  our  marriage  in  1950.  Since  then  four 
sons  and  a  daughter  (plus  numerous  pets)  have  joined  the  Schores 
family.  It  was  also  in  1950  that  I  entered  Duke  Divinity  School.  A 
challenging  pastorate  while  in  Duke  encouraged  me  toward  the  town 
and  country  ministry,  though  overseas  or  inner  city  mission  work  was 
prayerfully  considered.  Returning  to  my  home  conference  in  Missouri, 
I  then  served  two  Ozark  charges  (1953-1959).  Opportunities  to 
organize  and  work  in  two  Group  Ministries,  plus  numerous  conference 
committees,  prepared  me  for  the  God-given  (though  Bishop- 
appointed)  task  of  Town  and  Country  Director  for  Missouri 
Methodism  (1959-1965),  during  which  time  gracious  permission  was 
granted  to  further  my  graduate  work  in  sociology — a  field  of  consider- 
able interest  but  one  in  which  I  lacked  any  college  courses.  On  a  part- 
time  student  basis  at  the  University  of  Missouri  a  Master  of  Science  in 
rural  sociology  and  the  Ph.D.  in  sociology  were  earned,  much  thanks  to 
a  long-suffering  family.  Considerable  ribbing  accompanied  the  an- 
nouncement of  a  vacation  locale  for  my  dissertation  study,  "Osage 
Beach :  Social  Stratification  in  a  Resort  Community." 

Some  have  asked,  "Why  do  you  wish  to  teach  ?"  No  doubt  for  the 
same  reason  I  have  tried  most  everything  else  in  life — a  strong  convic- 
tion that  God  has  willed  it.  Working  with  people  is  both  a  pleasure 
and  a  challenge.  I  agree  with  Daniel  Webster  : 

If  we  work  on  marble,  it  will  perish.  If  we  work  on  brass,  time  will 
efface  it.  If  we  rear  temples,  time  will  crumble  them  into  dust.  But  if  we 
work  on  immortal  minds;  if  we  imbue  them  with  principles,  with  the  just 
fear  of  God  and  love  of  our  fellow  men,  we  engrave  on  those  tablets  some- 
thing which  will  brighten  all  eternity. 

The  invitation  to  teach  at  Duke  Divinity  School  and  help  direct  the 
Field  Education  program  was  a  pleasant  surprise  as  well  as  an  in- 
vigorating challenge.  I  trust  that  time  will  prove  me  capable  of  enter- 
ing successfully  this  newest  door  of  opportunity. 


Preaching  to  be  Understood.   James  T.  Cleland.   Abingdon.    1965.   126  pp.  $2.75. 

This  is  a  delightful  little  book,  in  format,  print,  style  and  content,  thoroughly 
characteristic  of  the  meticulous  artist  of  articulation  who  is  its  author,  the  Dean 
of  the  Chapel  of  Duke  University  and  James  B.  Duke  Professor  of  Preaching  in 
the  Divinity  School.  The  five  chapters  in  the  book  represent  his  mature  rework- 
ing of  ideas  and  emphases  that  have  typified  Cleland's  theory  of  preaching  for  a 
long  time,  and  his  students  of  many  years  will  receive  them  with  the  grateful 
acknowledgment  of  the  values  that  have  passed  from  him  to  them — sometimes 
even  unnoticed 

The  occasion  for  this  publication  was  the  singular  honor  that  befell  this 
Scotsman  in  diaspora  when  he  was  invited  by  the  Church  of  Scotland's  Com- 
mittee on  Education  for  the  Ministry  to  deliver  the  Warrack  Lectures  on 
Preaching  for  1964.  The  five  lectures  reflect  the  Dean's  feelings  about  the 
invitation :  He  is  obviously  happy  to  be  in  the  Scottish  Presbyterian  setting, 
for  here  he  can  give  full  expression  to  some  emphases  that  are  only  partially 
understood  in  his  American  context.  On  the  other  hand,  he  is  clearly  conscious 
of  having  moved  beyond  the  perspectives  of  his  mother  church,  and  he  is 
careful  that  these  developments  be  understood  before  they  may  be  criticized.  In 
the  tension  of  these  two  motifs,  Cleland  has  produced  a  book  which  is  at  the  same 
time  true  to  his  natural  self  and  expressive  of  his  most  thorough  reflection  on 
the  commitments  he  has  made — and  in  the  marriage  of  this  naturalness  and 
thoroughness  lies  the  secret  to  any  good  piece  of  writing. 

Cleland's  first  concern  is  to  clarify  what  he  calls  the  homiletical  "point  of 
reference,"  namely  the  understanding  of  the  Word  of  God  in  its  relation  to  the 
words  of  the  Scriptures,  Old  and  New  Testament  alike.  He  follows  the  con- 
temporary practice  of  demythologizing  the  'Word'  of  God  into  the  'action'  of 
God,  and  defines,  consequently,  the  Word  of  God  as  "the  activity  of  the  living 
personal  Creator,  Sustainer,  and  Redeemer  made  known  in  the  Bible,  in  the 
Spirit,  and  in  the  tradition  of  the  church"  (p.  32).  Preaching,  however,  is  not 
only  in  need  of  one  point  of  reference ;  it  must  have  two.  The  sermon  is 
oriented  'bifocally'  around  the  Good  News  of  God's  redemptive  activity  and  the 
contemporary  situation  of  the  people  who  listen.  Preaching  only  becomes  the 
Word  of  God  when  the  concerns  for  truth  and  relevance  are  held  together.  This 
bifocality,  says  Cleland,  is  the  "homiletical  corollary  of  the  doctrine  of  the 
Incarnation"  (p.  57). 

To  secure  the  two  foci  of  his  bifocality,  Cleland  gives  two  lectures  to  the 
closer  explication  of  the  dangers  and  the  possibilities  involved.  The  common 
heresies  are  on  the  one  hand,  'eisegesis'  (reading  into  a  text  what  is  not  really 
there)  and,  on  the  other  hand,  aimlessness  ('drawing  a  bow  at  a  venture',  or,  as 
Cleland  describes  it,  "aiming  at  nothing,  and  hitting  that  nothing  right  on  the 
nose").  To  offset  the  heresy  of  eisegesis,  Qeland  delineates  the  proper  ap- 
proach to  Scriptural  exposition  in  terms  of  'investigation',  'interpretation',  and 
'application',  and  to  avoid  the  danger  of  aimlessness  he  sets  forth  once  again  the 
true  craftsmanship  of  purposeful  preaching  as  he  has  developed  it  over  the 
years.  In  a  last  chapter,  he  draws  the  hearer  into  the  picture  by  emphasizing 
that  communication  is  a  twofold  task :  there  is  a  'pitcher'  and  a  'catcher'  work- 
ing together  as  a  'homiletical  battery'.  Cleland  relates  various  examples  of  how 
they  are  known  to  work  together.  One  will  find  his  book  to  be  rich  in  'pertinent' 
(a  good  Clelandian  word)  illustrations  and  practicable  suggestions. 


Cleland  confesses  in  his  forword,  that  having  delivered  the  Warrack  Lectures, 
he  feels  almost  ready  to  say  his  nunc  dimittis.  That  may  be  an  honest  feeling, 
but  we  shall  hope  to  God  that  the  dismissal  is  a  good  while  off  yet.  No  one  is 
eager  to  see  the  voice  of  this  teacher  of  preachers  silenced,  for  because  of  him 
many,  in  the  pew  and  in  the  pulpit,  have  had  the  urge  to  say  their  bonum  est. 

— Thor  Hall 

Christianity  Amid  Rising  Men  and  Nations.    Edited  by  Creighton  Lacy.    As- 
sociation Press.    1965.    181  pp.  $3.95. 

The  peoples  of  the  underdeveloped  world— what  the  editor  of  this  remarkable 
symposium  calls  "rising  men  and  nations" — are  searching  eagerly  for  both 
freedom  and  bread,  both  national  independence  and  adequate  food,  shelter, 
clothing,  health  conditions,  educational  facilities,  and  economic  oportunities.  The 
result,  in  an  age  of  unprecedented  scientific  advance  and  technological  achieve- 
ment, as  well  as  of  acute  international  and  interracial  tensions,  is  history-making 
revolution,  all  around  the  earth. 

For  several  decades  new  books  on  this  epochal  social  change  have  poured 
from  the  printing  presses,  but  the  number  of  scholarly  writings  on  the  subject 
from  a  Christian  perspective  are  comparatively  few.  Therefore,  these  nine  papers 
written  for  a  conference  sponsored  by  the  Divinity  School  of  Duke  University 
and  the  Ford  Foundation  are  especially  valuable.  Here  for  four  days  an  inter- 
disciplinary group  of  more  than  one  hundred  wrestled  with  vital  issues ;  not  only 
professional  churchmen  but  also  representatives  of  many  different  fields  of  study 
and  activity  and  varied  denominational  backgrounds  participated  in  the  discus- 
sions. The  central  aim  was  to  see  more  clearly  "the  relevance  and  significance  of 
Christianity  in  the  midst  of  social  revolution."  The  resultant  volume  of  addresses 
by  distinguished  young  specialists  (only  one  over  fifty  years  of  age)  is  certain 
to  command  respect  in  academic  and  religious  circles  while  at  the  same  time 
it  will  provoke  interesting  differences  of  opinion  and  fruitful  discussions. 

(1)  The  opening  chapter  in  the  symposium  is  the  only  one  prepared  by  a 
Britisher,  Roman  Catholic,  and  woman :  the  famous  writer  on  economics  and 
international  affairs,  Barbara  Ward  (Lady  Jackson).  "Am  I  My  Brother's 
Keeper?"  she  asks  and  in  answer  paints  a  large  canvas  with  bold  strokes  and 
rich  color.  Christianity  indeed  has  something  to  say  because  it  is  inherently  a 
"rebel  religion"  and  humanitarian  religion  with  roots  in  prophetic  Judaism  and 
the  dynamic  New  Testament  faith,  linked  to  the  creative  energies  of  Western 
thought  and  history.  The  author  minimizes  Oriental  sources  of  Christianity  and 
exaggerates  the  conservative  and  fatalistic  elements  in  Eastern  civilizations  as 
reasons  for  their  slow  development  up  to  modern  times.  We  should  also  remem- 
ber the  great  epochs  of  past  history  and  the  scientific  and  benevolent  features 
of  non- Christian  cultures  that  are  being  revived  today.  (Read  Creighton  Lacy's 
new  book,  The  Conscience  of  India.) 

Barbara  Ward  in  on  firm  ground  when  she  delineates  three  great  facts  of  our 
day :  the  fundamental  unity  of  mankind,  actual  and  potential ;  the  abundance  of 
physical  resources  available  alongside  the  wide  gap  between  rich  and  poor  nations 
which  must  be  bridged  (one  of  the  author's  favorite  themes)  ;  and  the  inevitable 
trend  toward  urbanization  and  its  evils,  pictured  in  alarming  terms.  The  need 
for  improved  rural  life  and  increased  agricultural  production  is  hardly  touched, 
and  the  population  explosion  and  its  warnings  are  passed  by — strange  for  an 
economist.  To  Barbara  Ward  Christian  history  and  future  are  an  exciting  open- 
ended  drama ;  Christianity  in  this  catastrophic  age  should  not  forget  that  it  is  a 
religion  of  both  judgment  and  hope.  Karl  Marx  spoke  with  power  and 
launched  a  universal  Communist  movement  because  the  Christian  Church  had 
lost  its  prophetic  vision.   Enough  material  here  for  a  long  series  of  discussions ! 


The  sweeping  statements,  awesome  judgments  and  evangelistic  fervor  do  not 
leave  too  clear  an  impression,  but  we  are  moved  by  Lady  Jackson's  wide-ranging 
knowledge,  as  well  as  her  Christian  anger  and  compassion. 

(2)  Christianity  has  been  introduced  to  the  non-Western  world  in  recent 
centuries  largely  through  the  agency  of  what  are  described,  and  often  criticized, 
as  "foreign  missions".  Over  100,000  Western  missionaries  (Protestant  and 
Roman  Catholic)  are  at  work  in  the  developing  nations.  What  is  their  role  in 
social  revolution?  The  question  is  treated  in  a  brilliant  essay  by  David  N. 
Stowe,  former  missionary  in  China  and  now  Secretary  for  Overseas  Ministries 
of  the  National  Council  of  Churches,  U.S.A.  With  well-organized  material  and 
in  clear,  graceful  style,  he  depicts  the  strong  and  weak  points  of  the  modern 
missionary  movement.  Undoubtedly  missions  have  been  the  forerunners  of 
revolutionary  change  and  transmitters  of  Western  civilization.  Imperialism  and 
colonialism,  so  bitterly  denounced  today,  did  actually  serve  as  a  sort  of 
"umbrella"  for  new  concepts  and  practices  that  have  benefited  underprivileged 
peoples.  Now  the  situation  is  very  different.  Colonialism  is  disappearing. 
Missionary  influence  on  society  in  general  is  declining,  the  image  of  the 
"Christian  West"  has  been  tarnished,  and  the  "foreign  missionary  movement" 
faces  all  sorts  of  new  barriers  and  handicaps.  The  radicalism  and  xenophobia  in 
many  political  revolutions  present  grave  dilemmas  and  challenges  to  the  Church. 
Yet  the  writer  sees  a  continuing  opportunity  for  the  Christian  mission  if  it  can 
find  common  goals  with  the  better  revolutionists  and  express  deep  and  sincere 
concern  for  those  at  the  bottom  of  the  economic  and  social  ladder. 

Stowe's  section  on  "specific  Christian  contributions  to  changing  societies"  is 
full  of  fresh  and  stimulating  ideas  such  as  "cross-cultural  interpretation  of 
Christianity,"  "the  mode  of  indirectness"  through  ecumenical  forms  of  action, 
radical  indigenization  of  Christian  faith  and  order,  and  more  adventurous  use  of 
lay  service  in  both  older  and  younger  churches.  Above  all  Dr.  Stowe  sees  the 
imperative  need  for  strong  Christian  witness,  through  individual,  transformed 
lives,  and  through  the  unique  "Christian  congregation"  as  a  leavening  force  in 
changing  society.  In  another  paper  he  might  show  us  how  the  witness  and 
influence  of  dedicated  minority  groups  can  become  more  effective  in  the  turmoil 
of  our  time  and  indicate  more  clearly  what  he  means  by  "the  revolution  beyond 
all  earthly  revolutions."  How  is  this  related  to  the  better  life  here  and  now  that 
societies  in  revolution  are  demanding? 

(3-4)  Rising  Africa  is  represented  in  the  symposium  by  two  able  educators, 
Nicholas  O.  Anim  of  Ghana  and  Mariga  T.  Wangombe  of  Kenya.  They  speak 
as  true  Christians  and  also  as  ardent  patriots  who  rejoice  in  the  freedom  that 
has  been  won  by  many  African  nations  and  who  believe  in  the  future  of  the 
African  continent  and  community  if  it  can  reveal  a  distinct  "African  personality". 
We  can  sympathize  with  their  anger  and  sorrow  over  the  wrongs  inflicted  on 
Africans  in  the  past  and  their  impatience  over  the  obstacles  to  rapid  social 
and  political  progress  today. 

(5)  The  Latin  American  situation  was  presented  at  the  Duke  Conference  by 
Richard  Shaull,  well-known  for  his  penetrating  book,  Encounter  ztnth  Revolution, 
who  views  the  social  revolution  as  a  "struggle  for  humanization".  No  reforms 
so  far  have  greatly  touched  the  basic  problem  of  land  ownership  and  economic, 
political  structures  that  favor  the  upper  classes.  Landowners,  10  per  cent  of  the 
population,  still  own  90  per  cent  of  the  land.  Marxism  makes  a  wide  appeal, 
especially  to  the  young  generation,  because  of  its  thoroughgoing  revolutionary 
philosophy  that  responds  to  the  contemporary  rebellious  mood  and  awakens  a 
feverish  intensity  of  commitment.  There  are  also  contradictory  trends,  toward 
both  democratic  and  authoritarian  leadership.  The  whole  social  pattern  in 
Latin  America  provides  a  tremendous  challenge  to  the  dominant  Roman 
Catholic  faith  and  to  the  smaller  but  rapidly  growing  Protestant  Church. 


What  makes  Shaull's  paper  outstanding  is  his  use  of  two  new  and  striking 
religious  movements  as  windows  through  which  to  view  Christianity's  participa- 
tion in  radical  revolution.  The  first  window  is  the  effort  of  the  Jesuits  in  Chile, 
who  are  closely  connected  with  the  Christian  Democratic  Party  in  that  country, 
to  place  the  Church  on  the  side  of  revolution  through  a  program  of  basic  social 
reforms  and  espousal  of  a  new  Christian  style  of  life.  They  find  a  "historical 
coincidence"  between  the  Communist  movement  and  the  Christian  revolutionary 
movement.  Dr.  Shaull  is  skeptical,  however,  about  possibilities  of  a  "united 
front"  although  personal  encounters  between  Christians  and  Communists  should 
prove  fruitful.  The  second  window  is  the  Student  Christian  Movement  in 
Brazil,  which  is  stimulating  much  Biblical  and  theological  debate  among 
Christian  youth  and  which  is  sending  many  students  into  difficult  and  painful 
identification  with  dehumanized  sectors  of  the  population.  "Thus  the  heart  of  the 
Christian-Marxist  dialogue  becomes  the  concern  for  what  is  happening  to  man  at 
every  moment,  the  attention  to  new  threats  of  dehumanization  in  society  as  well 
as  sensitivity  to  the  possibilities  of  humanization  present  at  every  moment 
because  of  the  work  of  Christ."  Dr.  Shaull  contributes  an  incisive  analysis  and 
evaluation  of  these  two  unusual  movements  and  his  essay  is  worthy  of  most 
careful  reading. 

(6)  Three  addresses  at  the  Duke  Consultation  dealt  specifically  with  Ameri- 
can and  Christian  responses  to  the  world-wide  revolution.  John  Scott  Everton — 
American  Friends  Service  Committee  overseas,  three  years  in  Burma  as  Ford 
Foundation  representative,  then  U.S.  Ambassador  to  Burma,  and  now  serving 
in  the  Education  and  World  Affairs  Foundation — is  well  qualified  to  discuss  the 
crucial  place  of  education  in  developing  nations.  American  involvement  has 
been  relatively  small ;  out  of  fifty  billion  dollars  invested  abroad  since  the  end 
of  the  Marshall  Plan  only  three  per  cent  has  been  for  technical  aid,  including 
education.  The  fifty-two  new  nations  need  help  in  their  educational  programs 
which  undergird  all  social  reconstruction.  The  cost  of  free  universal  education 
on  the  elementary  school  level  alone  is  almost  prohibitive  for  many  societies. 
The  training  of  top  leadership  in  all  fields  for  these  new  nations  is  now  of 
paramount  importance.  Mr.  Everton  points  to  the  increasing  study  of  world 
affairs  in  American  colleges  and  universities,  the  Peace  Corps,  and  the  growing 
number  of  foreign  students  in  the  United  States  (probably  100,000  by  the  year 
1970),  as  avenues  through  which  world-minded  Americans  and  Christians  may 
respond  to  educational  needs  abroad.  The  fine  work  of  United  Nations  and 
private  agencies  and  of  the  major  foundations  in  the  field  of  education  abroad  is 
also  mentioned,  but  no  reference  is  made  to  the  more  than  three  hundred 
mission  and  church  colleges  and  universities  in  Asia,  Africa  and  Latin  America. 

(7)  An  adequate  sense  of  community,  said  Byron  L.  Johnson  in  his  address, 
should  be  our  great  gift  to  the  developing  world.  Mr.  Johnson  has  had  a 
varied  and  rich  experience  as  international  development  specialist,  member  of 
Congress,  and  now  university  professor  of  economics.  How  can  prosperity  be 
shared  ?  he  asks.  How  can  a  real  community  be  built  within  nations  and  among 
nations,  from  which  both  poor  and  rich  will  benefit?  Many  organizations,  public 
and  private,  are  at  work  on  this  problem.  Professor  Johnson's  special  contribu- 
tion is  the  ideal  of  regional  cooperation  and  federations  especially  for  trade  and 
economic  development.  He  cites  the  Philadelphia  Treaty  of  1789,  better  known 
as  the  Constitution  of  the  U.S.A.,  as  a  model  in  this  respect.  It  was  a  regional 
federation,  with  single  communications  and  monetary  systems,  common  external 
defense  and  removal  of  all  internal  barriers.  The  appeal  for  this  kind  of  regional 
cooperation  can  be  made  on  grounds  of  both  common  interest  and  self  interest. 
The  groundwork  is  essentially  a  religious  task,  helping  peoples  to  know  one 
another  and  assist  one  another  in  practical  ways. 

(8)  Chosen  to  present  the  final  paper  in  the  series  was  Paul  R.  Abrecht  of 


the  World  Council  of  Churches.  The  theme  is  serious  and  urgent,  how 
Christians  in  both  the  developed  and  developing  nations  can  think  and  work 
together  in  response  to  the  surging  revolution  of  our  time.  The  speaker  is  not 
afraid  to  state  the  difficulties,  perplexities  and  dilemmas  that  lie  ahead  on  this 
road.  Many  Americans,  for  example,  cannot  really  appreciate  the  magnitude  and 
complexity  of  social  problems  in  the  rising  new  nations.  Relationships  between 
the  so-called  older  and  younger  churches  are  rapidly  changing,  though  the 
dependence  of  the  latter  has  not,  as  Paul  Abrecht  claims,  been  entirely  removed. 
Will  Eastern  Christians  accept  a  Western  philosophy  for  their  nation-building 
or  insist  upon  formulating  their  own  guiding  principles?  How  can  we  help  one 
another?  These  are  but  one  or  two  of  the  many  questions  propounded  by  Dr. 
Abrecht,  few  of  which  can  be  fully  or  satisfactorily  answered.  The  main  focus 
in  the  coming  philosophical  and  ethical  debate  should  be,  the  paper  says,  a 
Christian  interpretation  of  revolution  and  a  new  concept  of  Christian  action. 

The  danger  in  such  a  discussion  is  that  sweeping  generalizations  and 
visionary  proposals  by  arm-chair  theorists  may  take  the  place  of  trenchant 
thinking  and  practical  measures  born  of  bold  experiment  and  hard-won  experi- 
ence. Fortunately,  the  director  of  the  World  Council's  ecumenical  study  projects 
gives  concreteness  and  vitality  to  his  essay  by  quotations  from  Christians  in 
Indonesia,  Nigeria,  Cuba,  Tanganyika,  the  Kampala  Assembly  in  Africa,  the 
East  Asia  Christian  Conference  in  Kuala  Lumpur,  and  the  Vatican  (Pope  John 
XXIII).  And  the  author  ends  his  fine  paper  on  a  strong  note  from  his 
own  deep  conviction,  commending  the  role  of  the  World  Council  of  Churches  and 
expressing  the  hope  that  it  may  be  able  to  transcend  its  western  origin,  and 
speak  with  truth  and  power  to  all  of  our  revolutionary  world.  The  whole  book 
can  be  summarized  in  the  admonition  to  look  for  God's  purpose  in  social 
revolution  and  to  find  in  the  midst  of  it  opportunities  for  Christian  witness 
and  action.  The  reviewer  adds  his  prayer  that  the  transformation  of  persons 
through  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ  will  not  be  overlooked  in  the  emphasis 
on  social  transformation.  The  "Christian  presence" — to  use  a  rather  new  and 
suggestive  phrase — is  needed  in  the  midst  of  all  the  regions  and  dimensions  and 
upheavals  of  our  twentieth-century  world. 

(9)  The  symposium  closes  fittingly  with  a  brave  and  prophetic  sermon  by  the 
Rev.  Samuel  D.  Proctor,  Baptist  minister  who  has  been  active  in  many  kinds 
of  overseas  service  projects  in  all  parts  of  the  world,  and  on  the  staff  of  the 
National  Council  of  Churches.  The  topic  of  his  message  is  "The  Wrong  Time 
To  Be  Silent."    (Luke  19:40). 

An  excellent  short  Reading  List  adds  to  the  value  of  this  book  for  private 
and  group  study. 

— Frank  Wilson  Price 
Director  Emeritus,  Missionary  Research  Library 
Former  Moderator,  Presbyterian  Church  in  the  U.S. 


The  Justice  of  God  in  the  Teaching  of 
Jesus.  J.  Arthur  Baird.  West- 
minster.  1963.  283  pp.  $6.50. 

Dr.  Baird  sets  out  to  correct  the  pre- 
vailing tendency  of  popular  piety  to 
construe  the  Love  of  God  as  a  benevo- 
lent celestial  "softness".  A  worthy 
undertaking,  it  would  seem  !  Comfort- 
able Christians  as  most  of  us  are,  we 
do  need  to  learn  again  and  again  that 
the  Divine  Love  is  never  flabby,  but 
searching,  challenging,  demanding. 
"With  mercy  and  with  judgment  my 
web  of  time  be  wove." 

Any  attempt  therefore  to  focus  our 
attention  on  the  concept  of  God  as 
Justice  both  in  the  Old  Testament  and 
the  proclamation  of  Jesus  merits  ap- 

Since  Baird's  principal  aim  is  to 
examine  the  teaching  of  Jesus  on  God's 
Justice,  he  is  committed  initially  to 
dealing  with  the  agonizing  problem 
of  the  historical  Jesus.  Against  the 
tide  of  modern  skepticism  about  re- 
covering the  actual  words  or  deeds  of 
Jesus,  he  argues  on  general  grounds 
for  a  position  of  cautious  optimism. 

In  the  ensuing  treatment  of  Jesus' 
sayings,  there  are  many  good  things :  a 
detailed  exposition  of  the  parable  of 
the  unforgiving  servant  (Matt.  18:23- 
35)  and  of  the  wicked  husbandmen 
(Mark  12:1-12)  ;  an  incisive  discussion 
of  the  present  and  futuristic  elements 
in  Jesus'  eschatological  mesage  (al- 
though I  cannot  share  his  confidence 
in  the  arguments  he  adduces  for  taking 
entos  hum-In  in  Luke  17:21  to  mean 
that  the  Kingdom  of  God  is  "within 
you"  in  the  inward  spiritual  sense)  ; 
a  presentation  of  the  Cross  and  Resur- 
rection as  an  enacted  parable  of  God's 
Justice  in  Jesus. 

If,  throughout,  Baird  is  content  with 
his  earlier  generalizing  conclusions 
about  the  historical  reliability  of  the 
Jesus  tradition  in  the  Gospels,  and 
rather  uncritically  accepted  the  authen- 
ticity of  hotly  disputed  "Son  of 
Man"  sayings,  for  example,  or  Jesus' 
predictions  of  his  Resurrection  (Luke 
17:24-25;  22:18,  29;  Mark  8:31;  9:31; 

10:33-34),  we  should  not  cavil  too 
much.  We  would  rather  err  on  his 
side  than  on  the  side  of  skepticism. 

The  palpable  weakness  of  Baird's 
work  is  the  method  he  employs  for 
investigating  Jesus'  teaching.  His  book 
is  in  effect  a  "word-study"  of  God, 
Father,  Spirit,  Power,  Krisis,  etc. 
Some  familiarity  with  the  writings  of 
Professor  James  Barr  on  The  Seman- 
tics of  Biblical  Language  and  Biblical 
Words  for  Time  would  have  given 
Baird  great  pause  about  trying  to  read 
off  from  the  incidence  of  such  words  as 
kairos  and  chronos  a  particular  "phi- 
losophy of  time"  on  Jesus'  part.  And 
can  we  deduce  from  Jesus'  various 
usages  of  such  words  as  Earth  and 
Heaven  and  Spirit  his  own  unique 
cosmology,  as  distinguished  from  the 
popular  cosmology  of  his  day  (Baird 
thinks  of  Jesus'  special  cosmology  as 
an  integral  part  of  his  notion  of  God's 
Judgment  in  the  affairs  of  men)  ? 

To  be  sure  it  is  the  "word-study" 
character  of  Baird's  book  that  leaves 
us  with  the  (I  think,  unfortunate)  im- 
pression that  Jesus  was  a  brilliant 
theologian,  infinitely  skilled  in  describ- 
ing the  various  facets  of  his  concept  of 
God.  But  should  we  picture  Jesus  as 
the  purveyor  of  the  concept  of  God 
rather  than  as  the  one  in  whose  very 
words  God  draws  near  to  men  both 
in  Judgment  and  in  Love  (Born- 
kamm)  ? 

One  other  criticism  !  Baird  makes  a 
great  deal  of  the  fact  that,  because  we 
are  fettered  still  to  Newtonian  physics 
and  have  not  learned  to  accept  Ein- 
steinian  relativity,  we  have  lost  touch 
with  the  prophetic  idea  that  earth 
stands  under  the  judgment  of  heaven, 
and  are  excluded  from  due  under- 
standing of  the  more  than  three- 
dimensional  cosmology  of  Jesus.  Is 
that  really  why  we  shy  away  from  the 
Justice  of  God  ?  Is  it  merely  the  ob- 
tuseness  of  one  reader  that  makes  him 
wonder  what  relevance  this  has  to  an 
explication  of  the  teaching  of  Jesus 
in  his  own  time  and  against  his  own 
background  ? 


Stirred  by  the  title,  the  reviewer  was 
left  somewhat  disappointed  and  dis- 
satisfied   with   the   book   itself. 

— Hugh  Anderson 

The  Central  Message  of  the  New 
Testament.  Joachim  Jeremias.  Scrib- 
ner's.   1965.   95  pp.  $2.95. 

This  book  consists  of  a  series  of 
popular  lectures  by  Professor  Jere- 
mias, the  distinguished  Gottingen  New 
Testament  scholar  and  Semitic  phi- 
lologist, delivered  on  a  recent  tour  in 
the  United  States.  (He  spoke  at  the 
Divinity  School  on  October  20,  1965, 
on  "Some  Characteristics  of  Jesus' 
Way  of  Speaking".) 

In  Chapter  1,  Jeremias  treats  the 
use  of  "Abba"  ("Father")  by  Jesus 
and  the  earliest  Christians.  He  deals 
first  with  the  Old  Testament  back- 
ground, in  which  the  use  of  "Father" 
with  respect  to  God  is  said  to  be  rare 
but  significant,  and  then  turns  briefly 
to  the  somewhat  more  frequent  use 
of  the  term  in  Palestinian  Judaism. 
This  is  followed  by  a  more  extensive 
treatment  of  what  is  said  to  be  Jesus' 
distinctive  practice  of  addressing  God 
as  "Abba,"  a  familiar  form  which 
does  not  occur  in  Jewish  prayers. 
After  discussing  the  Fatherhood  of 
God  in  the  Gospels  and  the  use  of 
Abba,  Father,  in  the  Lord's  Prayer 
and  the  prayers  of  Christians  in 
general,  Jeremias  concludes  by  assert- 
ing the  untenability  of  the  position  of 
those  who  deny  the  theological  rele- 
vance of  the  historical  Jesus. 

Chapter  2  deals  with  the  sacrificial 
death  of  Jesus  in  Hebrews,  I  Peter, 
Paul,  the  primitive  church,  and  the 
thought  of  the  historical  Jesus  himself. 
Jeremias  argues  that  Jesus  did  in  fact 
foresee  his  own  death  and  interpreted 
it  to  his  disciples,  using  the  suffering 
servant  motif  of  Isaiah  53. 

Justification  by  faith  is  the  sub- 
ject of  Chapter  3.  On  the  basis  of  the 
Old  Testament  background  Jeremias 
declares :  "As  in  the  Pauline  letters 
dikaiosyne  (tou)  theou  must  be 
translated,       'God's       salvation',       so 

dikaiousthai  must  be  rendered  'to  find 
God's  grace'."  (p.  55)  In  the  sub- 
sequent discussion,  justification  is 
interpreted  as  one  description  of  the 
bestowal  of  God's  grace  at  baptism. 
Contrary  to  some  current  opinion,  the 
background  of  Paul's  doctrine  is  not  to 
be  found  in  the  Qumran  community 
and  literature,  but  in  Jesus'  own 

The  final  chapter  is  an  exposition  of 
the  prologue  of  the  Gospel  of  John,  in 
which  Jeremias  takes  up  the  proposal, 
put  forward  by  Bultmann  and  many 
others  before  and  since,  that  John  used 
an  earlier  hymn  in  compoisng  his 
gospel.  Unlike  Bultmann,  however, 
Jeremias  does  not  believe  that  this 
logos-hymn  was  earlier  applied  to  John 
the  Baptist  by  some  of  his  followers. 
This  is  in  line  with  his  rejection  of 
Bultmann's  proposed  Gnostic  back- 
ground for  the  hymn.  According  to 
Jeremias  the  affinity  of  John  with  the 
Qumran  scrolls  is  much  closer  and 
more  relevant. 

In  a  popular  book  such  as  this 
Jeremias  could  scarcely  be  expected  to 
establish  his  conclusions  with  the  kind 
of  thoroughness  that  is  characteristic 
of  his  scholarly  work.  Nevertheless, 
it  is  necessary  to  at  least  indicate  a 
couple  of  points  where  questions  might 
be  raised.  For  example,  while  I  am  in 
complete  sympathy  with  Jeremias' 
desire  to  assert  the  continuity  between 
Jesus  and  the  church's  faith,  I  doubt 
that  so  sweeping  a  positive  conclusion 
(cf.  pp.  29  f.)  is  justifiable  on  the  basis 
of  the  use  of  the  term  Abba.  We  are 
indeed  taken  behind  the  church's 
kerygma  by  this  term,  as  Jeremias  as- 
serts, but  no  one  really  denies  that 
elements  of  genuine  tradition  of  Jesus 
were  taken  up  in  the  church's  tradition. 
The  question  about  Jesus  is  much  more 
complex  theologically  than  Jeremias 
here  allows. 

In  seeming  to  reject  (pp.  58f.)  the 
position  of  Wrede  and  Schweitzer  that 
justification  does  not  stand  at  the 
center  of  Pauline  theology,  Jeremias 
asserts  that  both  earlier  scholars  erred 
in    not    asking    how    justification    is 


bestowed.  Justification  is  bestowed  by- 
God  in  baptism,  says  Jeremias.  From 
this  point  on,  however,  he  appears  to  be 
saying  that  baptism  is  really  the  center 
of  Paul's  theology  and  that  justifica- 
tion (as  with  Wrede  and  Schweitzer  1) 
is  a  subsidiary  factor.  "The  connection 
of  justification  with  baptism  is  so  ob- 
vious to  Paul  that  he  feels  no  necessity 
to  state  in  so  many  words  that  it  is  in 
baptism  that  God  saves  him  who  be- 
lieves in  Jesus."  (p.  59)  Bultmann's 
contention  that  for  Paul  man  is 
justified  only  as  an  ungodly  person, 
and  that  in  himself  he  does  not  cease  to 
be  ungodly,  is  rejected.  Jeremias  points 
out  that  even  Bultmann  admits  that 
Paul  never  explicitly  says  this.  Yet 
neither  does  Paul  make  the  explicit 
claim  for  baptism  that  Jeremias  sets 
forth,  nor  does  he  say  explicitly  or 
inferentially  that  "the  Eucharist  re- 
news God's  grace  given  in  baptism  for 
which  justification  is  but  one  of  many 
descriptions."  (p.  65)  The  argument 
from  silence  is  at  least  as  dangerous 
in  the  one  place  as  in  the  other !  The 
question  is  not  whether  Paul  regarded 
baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper  as  es- 
sential. Certainly  he  at  least  assumed 
them  as  a  matter  of  course  without 
considering  the  possibility  of  an  non- 
sacramental  Christianity.  Rather  the 
question  is  whether  what  we  have  come 
to  regard  as  sacraments  (the  term 
does  not  occur  in  Paul)  occupied  the 
central  position  in  Paul's  understand- 
ing of  Christian  salvation,  as  Jeremias 
seems  to  think. 

Finally,  the  contention  that  Paul 
was  the  faithful  interpreter  of  Jesus 
(p.  70)  is  certainly  an  exaggeration, 
as  Jeremias'  attempt  to  trace  the 
doctrine  of  justification  to  Jesus  shows. 
Jeremias'  paralleling  of  such  sayings  as 
Jesus'  "Let  the  dead  bury  their  dead" 
with  Paul's  "He  who  is  justified  by 
faith  will  have  life",  (p.  70)  as  if  they 
were  really  related,  is  indicative  of  the 
difficulty  he  has  in  establishing  his  case. 
The  title,  The  Central  Message  of 
the  Nczv  Testament  promises  more 
than  the  book  delivers,  but  the  blurb 
on  the  dust-jacket  indicates  that  Pro- 

fessor Jeremias  would  have  preferred 
the  more  accurate  title  "Four  Chapters 
in  New  Testament  Theology".  As 
such  it  is  a  rewarding  and  stimulating 
little  book. 

— D.  Moody  Smith 

Charles  Wesley:  The  First  Methodist. 
Frederick  C.  Gill.  Abingdon.  1965. 
239  pp.   $5. 

Charles  Wesley  has  long  been  ob- 
scured by  his  older  brother,  John,  but 
Mr.  Gill  has  made  a  noteworthy  at- 
tempt to  show  his  importance  in  his 
own  right.  The  choice  of  title  is  a  part 
of  this  approach :  John  Wesley  may 
have  been  the  best-known  Methodist, 
but  brother  Charles  was  the  first,  both 
in  organizing  the  Holy  Club  at  Oxford 
and  in  undergoing  the  heart-warming 
experience  which  brought  the  Meth- 
odist movement  to  a  focal  point  in 
dynamic  evangelism.  Charles  had  the 
artistic  temperament,  and  this  led  not 
only  to  a  wonderful  harvest  of  hymns 
and  sacred  poems,  but  to  enthusiastic 
abandon  in  enduring  hardship  for  the 
sake  of  the  Gospel,  and  to  exuberant 
preaching  very  different  from  John's 
calm  discourses,  even  though  John 
included  his  brother's  "Awake,  thou 
that  sleepest !"  in  the  standard  sermons 
illustrating  Methodist  doctrinal  em- 

The  author  does  not  minimize  the 
work  of  John  Wesley,  however,  but 
points  out  how  in  the  varied  activities 
of  Methodism  they  complemented  each 
other :  "Nothing  could  be  further  from 
the  truth  than  that  Charles  Wesley  was 
a  pale  shadow  of  his  brother  or  that 
he  stands  in  the  background  of  his 
brother's  work.  .  .  .  He,  no  less  than 
John,  established  Methodism.  Their 
work  was  indivisible.  John  organized ; 
Charles  provided  the  impulse  John 
was  the  head ;  Charles  was  the  heart." 
We  can  object  that  this  statement  is 
both  exaggerated  and  over-simplified. 
Sometimes,  however,  as  probably  in 
this  instance,  exaggeration  and  over- 
simplification are  necessary  in  order  to 


bring  about  the  correction  of  long- 
continued  errors  of  judgment. 

The  author  writes  with  verve  and 
charm,  as  well  as  with  erudition,  as  we 
should  expect  from  his  former  volumes. 
He  incorporates  many  little-known 
facts  and  representative  anecdotes  into 
a  fast-moving  narrative,  so  that  a 
genuine  portrait  emerges.  Unfortu- 
nately the  merit  of  speed  in  the  narra- 
tive is  occasionally  offset  by  over- 
hasty  assumptions.  Among  several 
demonstrable  errors  in  minor  details  is 
the  statement  on  page  19  that  "only 
ten  of  Susanna's  nineteen  children  sur- 
vived to  maturity,  though  at  one  time 
there  were  at  least  thirteen  alive 
together."  Nine  children  died  in 
infancy,  and  there  were  never  more 
than  ten  alive  at  once.  On  the  follow- 
ing page  Mr.  Gill  claims  that  "the 
youngest,  Molly,  married  her  father's 
curate",  whereas  in  fact  Molly  was  the 
seventh  child.  Mr.  Gill,  an  undoubted 
authority  on  the  literary  work  of  the 
Wesleys,  is  also  strangely  careless  in 
furnishing  representative  titles  of  their 
hymn-pamphlets,  and  of  the  three  he 
lists  on  page  207  only  one  is  correctly 
described.  Similarly  on  page  209  he 
badly  misquotes  John  Wesley's  char- 
acterization   of    his    brother's    hymns. 

Mr.  Gill  did  not  set  out  to  produce  a 
definitive  biography  of  Charles  Wesley, 
which  would  need  to  be  at  least  twice 
as  large  as  this  volume.  He  has  suc- 
ceeded, however,  in  writing  a  charm- 
ing work  for  the  general  reader  which 
offers  much  also  to  the  scholar.  This 
attractively  produced  volume  is  un- 
doubtedly the  best  biography  of 
Charles  Wesley  at  present  available, 
and  one  whose  reading  by  those  who 
would  know  more  of  early  Methodism 
should  be  regarded  not  only  as  a  duty 
but  as  a  pleasure. — Frank  Baker. 

Where    We    Are    in    Church    Union. 

Edited  by  George  L.  Hunt  and  Paul 

A.    Crow,    Jr.     Association    Press. 

1965.   126  pp.   50^  pb. 
A  Church  for  These  Times.  Ronald  E. 

Osborn.    Abingdon.     1965.     192   pp. 

$1.95  pb. 

Christ's  Church:  Evangelical,  Catholic, 
and  Reformed.  Bela  Vassady.  Eerd- 
mans.   1965.   173  pp.  $1.95  pb. 

Running  far  behind  Vatican  Council 
II  but  far  ahead  of  the  rest  of  the 
ecumenical  pack  in  the  publication  race 
is  the  Blake-Pike  Proposal,  officially 
organized  as  the  Consultation  on 
Church  Union.  In  four  years  of  formal 
discussion  this  plan  for  the  merger  of 
six  major  Protestant  groups  in 
America  has  already  had  its  share  of 
ups  and  downs.  From  the  apparently 
critical  blow  dealt  by  Methodist 
spokesmen  in  1964  the  negotiations 
came  through  more  hopefully  in  1965, 
but  there  are  bound  to  be  innumerable 
pitfalls  ahead. 

Each  of  these  three  paperback 
volumes  attempts  to  bridge  one  of  the 
most  serious  chasms  in  the  Church : 
that  between  top-level  conversations  and 
grass-roots  understanding.  They  are 
on  very  different  levels  in  themselves. 
The  Reflection  Book  edited  by  Hunt 
and  Crow  calls  itself  "a  report  on  the 
present  accomplishments  of  the  Consul- 
tation on  Church  Union".  In  brief, 
elementary  form  it  achieves  this  pur- 
pose admirably  and  should  be  widely 
used  in  local  church  discussion  groups. 
By  explaining  simply  and  clearly  the 
basis  of  current  talks  and  such  "emerg- 
ing issues"  as  Scripture  and  tradition, 
the  ministry  and  sacraments,  it  offers 
a  useful  basis  for  further  study.  It 
even  includes  an  outline  for  six  discus- 
sion sessions,  with  stimulating  ques- 
tions for  the  ecumenical  "beginner". 

Osborn's  book  stands  on  middle 
ground,  a  very  effective  analysis  of 
the  historical  and  contemporary  im- 
plications of  Eugene  Carson  Blake's 
phrase  "truly  evangelical,  truly  re- 
formed, truly  catholic"  (the  first  term 
reputedly  inserted  at  the  suggestion  of 
Methodists).  The  Dean  and  Profes- 
sor of  Church  History  at  Christian 
Theological  Seminary  (Disciples  of 
Christ,  Indianapolis),  long  a  partici- 
pant in  the  Faith  and  Order  Move- 
ment, says  frankly  this  is  "not  a  sys- 
tematic     commentary      on       Blake's 


sermon,  nor  a  formal  apologetic  for  a 
particular  scheme  of  union".  He  does, 
however,  begin  and  end  with  the  con- 
victions that  "only  by  ending  the  folly 
and  sin  of  meaningless  division  will  the 
church  in  America  find  strength  equal 
to  her  task,"  and  that  this  goal  can 
only  be  approached  when  local  congre- 
gations reach  an  understanding  "of 
what  it  means  to  belong  to  the  uni- 
versal Christian  fellowship". 

At  its  particular  level  of  purpose  and 
effort,  Christ's  Church:  Evangelical, 
Catholic,  and  Reformed  by  Bela  Vas- 
sady  of  Lancaster  Theological  Semi- 
nary appears  to  this  reader  the  least 
successful.  As  a  far  more  profound 
analysis  than  the  others  of  what  these 
terms  and  their  theological  implica- 
tion really  mean,  it  provides  some  very 
astute  observations  and  some  provoca- 
tive insights  into  ecumenical  issues. 
But  on  the  whole  it  suffers  from  three 
basic  faults :  It  is  at  points  too  com- 
plex, too  theologically  abstruse,  for 
most  lay  Christians.  It  reproduces  the 
orthodox  or  traditional  views  of 
Christianity  with  such  an  obvious  at- 
tempt to  include  everyone  and  offend 
no  one  that  every  position  comes  out 
"both-and".  Finally,  it  resorts  to  an 
alliterative  "typology"  that  becomes 
more  ridiculous  than  helpful ;  e.g.  in 
"The  Christ-Controlled  Church" 
Christ  constitutes,  we  commune; 
Christ  convokes,  we  congregate ; 
Christ  confirms  (convicts,  comforts, 
counsels),  we  conform;  by  control, 
continuity,  concern,  contrition  and 
commitment  we  enter  into  the  fullness, 
freedom,  finality  and  faithfulness  of 
Christ ! 

Whether  you  aim  to  sharpen  your 
own  theological  teeth  (or  set  them  on 
edge)  or  to  engage  your  parishioners 
in  clearer  understanding  of  ecumeni- 
cal issues,  pastors  will  find  in  the  next 
few  years  that  "he  is  loco  and/or 
cuckoo  who  is  not  abreast  of  COCU". 
Here  are  three  introductions ;  there 
will  be  more  to  come. 

— Creighton  Lacy 

The  Other  Side  of  the  Coin.  Alfred 
M.  Lilienthal.  Devin-Adair.  1965. 
xii,  420  pp.  $6.50. 

The  subtitle  of  this  book  is  "An 
American  Perspective  of  the  Arab- 
Israeli  Conflict".  Thus,  the  title  means 
that  Americans  know  almost  exclu- 
sively the  Israeli  side  of  the  conflict, 
and  the  author  wishes  to  show  that  the 
Arabs  have  a  case,  indeed  a  very  good 
case.  The  word  "American"  in  the 
subtitle  implies  that  American  interests 
have  been  jeopardized  by  this  lopsided, 
pro-Israeli  view  and  that  a  truly  pro- 
American  view  requires  a  more  ob- 
jective regard  for  all  factors  in  the 
conflict,  including  a  recognition  of  the 
rights  and  claims  of  the  Arabs.  Lack 
of  such  recognition,  with  consequent 
loss  of  American  prestige  among  the 
Arab  nations  and  other  nations  friendly 
to  the  Arabs,  has  done  great  harm  to 
the  national  interests  of  the  U.  S.  A., 
says  the  author,  who  backs  up  his 
claim  with  good  argument  and  good 

Alfred  Lilienthal  is  peculiarly  fitted 
to  write  this  book.  As  a  Jew,  loyal  to 
the  highest  insights  and  values  of  his 
religion,  he  is  a  living  proof  that  Juda- 
ism and  political  Zionism  are  not 
identical  and  ought  not  to  be  confused 
with  one  another ;  and  that  truly 
American  Jews,  or  Americans  of 
Jewish  faith,  put  the  interests  of 
America  first,  regardless  of  any  other 
nation.  As  a  graduate  of  Cornell  Uni- 
versity and  the  Columbia  University 
Law  School,  Lilienthal  has  the  educa- 
tional equipment  needful  for  an  under- 
standing of  this  and  other  intricate 
problems.  More  importantly,  however, 
he  has  already  proved  his  ability  to 
write  cogently  and  lucidly  on  the  sub- 
ject in  hand.  His  book,  What  Price 
Israel?  (1953),  is  a  classic  in  the  field 
and  a  hardheaded  antidote  to  the  senti- 
mental notion  that  the  founding  of 
Israel  was  a  victory  for  righteousness 
and  humanitarianism.  More  recently 
his  volume  There  Goes  the  Middle 
East  has  shown  what  a  great  victory 
for    Communism    has    resulted    from 


America's  pro-Israel  policies.  The 
present  volume  brings  the  story  up  to 
date  and  adds  a  final  chapter  setting 
forth  the  author's  ideas  of  how  to  work 
toward  a  settlement  of  the  conflict  in 
the  Holy  Land  which  still  goes  on 
even  though  other  conflicts,  such  as 
that  in  Viet  Nam,  temporarily  snatch 
the  headlines. 

Ministers  in  the  parishes,  and 
faculty  and  students  in  theological 
schools,  all  have  a  deep  interest  in  the 
Holy  Land  and  what  goes  on  there. 
Many  of  us  wish  to  visit  the  land  and 
its  holy  places,  while  some  of  us,  like 
the  reviewer,  are  called  upon  to  under- 
take archaeological  research  there.  We 
need  information  on  what  has  happened 
in  Palestine,  and  why.  If  an  injustice 
has  been  done,  we  want  to  know  about 
it.  If  there  is  another  side  of  the  coin, 
we  want  to  see  it.  Nearly  all  American 
communications  media  are  under  the 
control  or  the  influence  of  the  Zionists. 
Thus  the  service  rendered  by  Lilien- 
thal's  books  is  all  the  greater. 

Before  concluding,  the  reviewer  feels 
compelled  to  mention  another  book  of 
similar  import  that  appeared  shortly 
after  the  one  here  under  review :  The 
Decadence  of  Judaism  in  Our  Time 
by  Moshe  Menuhin,  the  father  of 
Yehudi  Menuhin,  the  famous  violinist 
(Exposition  Press,  1965,  $6).  Mr. 
Menuhin  is  a  former  Zionist  who  broke 
with  that  movement  because  of  the  ob- 
vious damage  which  it  was  doing  to 
the  highest  principles  of  the  Jewish 
religion.  Lilienthal's  book  is  more  on 
the  political  side,  while  Menuhin's  has 
more  religious  overtones.  Lilienthal  is 
more  the  hard-headed  political  scien- 
tist, Menuhin  more  the  sensitive 
mystic,  but  both  come  out  to  the  same 
place :  Arabs  are  human  beings,  with 
the  same  rights  and  privileges  as  other 
human  beings ;  what  has  been  taken 
from  them  should  be  restored;  when 
this  is  done,  Arabs  and  Jews  can  re- 
sume their  ancient  friendship  and  live 
in  peace  together,  resisting  both  West- 
ern imperialism  and  Communist  ag- 
gression.— W.  F.  Stinespring 

Peace,  the  Churches,  and  the  Bomb. 
Contributors  :  John  J.  Wright,  Theo- 
dore R.  Weber,  Walter  Stein,  Wil- 
liam V.  O'Brien,  Justus  George 
Lawler.  Council  on  Religion  and 
International  Affairs.  1965.  103  pp. 

The  most  recent  publication  of  the 
Council  on  Religion  and  International 
Affairs,  an  organization  which  devotes 
its  attention  specifically  to  that 
infinitely  complex  arena  where  ethics 
and  international  politics  meet,  is  this 
brief  volume  of  essays.  The  pamphlet 
is  devoted  to  a  discussion,  from  the 
Christian  viewpoint,  of  some  of  the 
problems  posed  by  nuclear  weapons, 
especially  the  possibility  of  a  moral 
nuclear  deterrent. 

The  unifying  factor  in  the  collection 
is  the  statement  on  nuclear  arms  intro- 
duced at  the  third  session  of  the 
Vatican  Council  in  the  fall  of  1964 
(Article  25  from  Schema  XIII).  This 
preliminary  statement  will  be  the  basis 
for  a  fuller  discussion  by  the  present 
Council  session  and  the  subsequent 
issuance  of  an  official  document  on  the 
subject.  Any  statement  by  the  Council 
on  nuclear  weapons  will  be  of  im- 
portance far  beyond  the  bounds  of  the 
Roman  communion.  Therefore  these 
essays,  to  the  extent  that  they  are 
given  consideration  by  Council  partic- 
ipants, should  be  of  concern  to  all  men. 

After  an  introductory  essay  by  the 
Roman  Catholic  Bishop  of  Pittsburgh, 
John  J.  Wright,  the  book  is  arranged 
in  three  parts:  (1)  four  essays  by 
Theodore  Weber,  Walter  Stein,  Wil- 
liam V.  O'Brien,  and  Justus  George 
Lawler,  each  commenting  upon  the 
schema  and  using  it  as  a  springboard 
for  the  presentation  of  his  own  views 
on  the  morality  of  nuclear  deterrence 
and  related  ethical  questions ;  (2)  a 
lengthy  critique  of  these  essays  by 
Paul  Ramsey,  in  his  usual  somewhat 
convoluted  prose,  in  which  he  shows 
keen  insights  into  the  problem  and  a 
penchant  for  verbose  irrelevancy  in 
about  equal  measure;  (3)  replies  to 
Ramsey  by  the  four  essayists  refining 


their  positions  to  some  extent  but 
mostly  refuting  Ramsey's  critical  re- 
marks and  defending  their  original 

While  Ramsey  is  probably  the  best 
informed  among  the  authors  on  the 
technicalities  of  nuclear  strategy,  his 
very  expertise  seems  at  times  to  get  in 
his  way.  He  is  determined,  further- 
more, that  the  Council  address  itself 
only  to  the  moral  issue  in  moral  terms, 
leaving  the  technical  questions  to  the 
military  and  scientific  experts.  Yet 
he  so  narrowly  defines  this  area,  and 
so  broadly  defines  the  area  in  which 
only  these  experts  have  competence, 
that  any  Council  statement  would  have 
to  be  virtually  devoid  of  meaningful 
content  to  meet  with  his  approval.  Can 
the  ethical  and  technical  aspects  of  the 
problem  really  be  so  compartmen- 
talized? O'Brien,  Director  of  the 
Institute  of  World  Polity  at  George- 
town, seems  more  nearly  correct  in 
criticizing  the  schema  for  not  dealing 
with  a  clearly  identifiable  category  of 
phenomena  and  situations. 

In  addition,  Ramsey  gets  so  involved 
in  some  of  his  "tortuous  olympian 
exegesis"  of  the  original  essays  that  he 
becomes  at  times  both  irrelevant  and 
self-contradictory.  On  what  is  perhaps 
the  chief  point  of  contention  in  the 
whole  volume,  the  question  of  whether 
there  can  be  any  such  thing  as  a 
moral  nuclear  deterrent,  Ramsey  at- 
tempts to  distinguish  between  "a  threat 
of  something  disproportionate"  and  "a 
disproportionate  threat".  The  former 
is  permissible,  he  believes,  especially 
when  a  further  distinction  is  made 
between  a  nation's  declared  and  real 
intentions  regarding  the  use  of  nuclear 
weapons.  Yet  he  can  at  the  same  time 
acknowledge  that  "in  the  nation-state 
system  one  can  deter  war  only  by 
postures  which,  when  war  comes,  tend 
to  drive  war  on  to  military  actions 
that    are    in    fact    disproportionate." 

Stein,  philosopher  from  the  University 
of  Leeds,  does  a  good  job  of  showing 
the  absurdity  of  attempting  publicly  to 
maintain  a  nuclear  deterrent  while 
secretly  having  no  intention  of  using  it. 

The  four  essays  in  the  first  section 
accomplish  their  purpose  of  raising 
relevant  questions  concerning  the 
Council  schema.  If  the  schema  meant 
to  condemn  all  nuclear  weapons  as 
inherently  disproportionate  (this  is 
unclear  in  the  Council  statement  it- 
self), the  essay  by  Weber  of  Candler 
School  of  Theology  should  be  given 
primary  consideration  by  the  Council. 
He  points  to  the  additional  ethical 
questions  with  which  such  a  "nuclear 
pacifist"  position  must  come  to  grips. 
In  other  essays  the  Council  will  find 
itself  criticized  for  not  going  far 
enough  in  condemning  "the  Deterrence 
State"  (Stein)  and  warned  against 
pronouncing  on  subjects  beyond  its 
competence  (Ramsey,  O'Brien).  All 
four  essays  can  be  of  value  in  guiding 
the  Council  toward  a  pronouncement 
which  will  be  taken  seriously  by  a 
world  in  need  of  some  sensible  guide- 
lines for  avoiding  nuclear  war.  The 
latter  portion  of  the  book  loses  a  good 
deal  of  its  value  as  a  result  of  the 
writers'  attempts  to  score  debating 
points.  Though  the  writers  have  some 
widely  divergent  views  on  nuclear 
morality  (e.g.  Lawler  of  St.  Xavier 
College,  Chicago,  declares  himself  a 
"nuclear  pacifist"),  they  seem  to  be 
agreed  that  the  most  imperative  task 
of  the  Vatican  Council  in  this  area  is 
to  face  up  to  the  morality  of  nuclear 
deterrence  here  and  now,  not  some 
future  nuclear  war. 

— Allan  M.  Parrent 
Graduate   Student  in  Religion 
Assistant  Coordinator  of  Student 

Former  Staff  Member,  Arms  Control